Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the Pre-Nursing program and the Nursing program?

The Pre-Nursing program is a lower-level specific track that students take in order to apply to the School of Nursing. Courses in Pre-Nursing include some of the Texas Core Curriculum plus Nursing Prerequisite Courses (1 1/2 years). The Pre-Nursing program resides in the College of Health Sciences and provides advisement for all students desiring to be a nurse.

The Nursing program is an upper-level track (2 1/2 years) that prepares students to take the NCLEX exam to become a bachelor-prepared Registered Nurse. Courses in Nursing include a multitude of varied clinical experiences as well as didactic courses. The Nursing program is in the School of Nursing in the College of Health Sciences.

Can I attend part-time in the Nursing program?

The pre-licensure BSN nursing program at SHSU follows specific coursework per semester.  The first semester consists of two NURS courses (6 hours).  Students can complete any remaining Texas Core Curriculum courses during this semester.  After the first semester of the program, students will attend full-time with NURS courses. The LVN-to-BSN is also designed to follow the same schedule as pre-licensure students. The RN-to-BSN has both a full-time track and part-time track which is 100% online.

Will I need transportation while in the Nursing Program?

Yes, you will need reliable transportation to class and to clinical sites.

When will I begin nursing clinical courses?

Students will enroll in clinical courses during the second semester of the nursing program. A clinical course is part of the Nursing curriculum in all semesters after the first. Nursing students must successfully pass clinical courses along with co-requisite theory classes in order to progress through the program.

Can I take a minor or second major while attending nursing school?

Students may add a minor, however, students need to be aware that nursing school is a rigorous program and includes off campus clinical courses. Students enrolled in the SHSU School of Nursing are not permitted to pursue a second major.

What is the minimum GPA needed to be considered for admission to the nursing program?

An overall GPA of 3.0 is required to apply to the nursing program. However, admission to the nursing program is highly competitive and the cutoff GPA is currently higher than a 3.0 and is dependent on the applicant pool per semester.

Does a "D" transfer in to SHSU?

A grade of "D" transfers as credit, however, you will need to retake the course prior to application and receive a grade of “C” or higher.

What are the core curriculum requirements?

The prerequisites are required by the University in fulfillment of the Texas Core Curriculum  and pre-nursing prerequisite requirements (59 hours). See the BSN Curriculum Plan.

Can I enter the program lacking any prerequisite courses?

Students can enter the program lacking a few TX Core Curriculum courses.  All Nursing Prerequisite Courses must be completed before beginning the nursing program, with no more than 2 in progress after the application period (Summer term for Fall application period and Fall term for Spring application period).  All prerequisite coursework completed must be a "C" or better.

Is there a time limit or re-take policy for prerequisite courses?

Yes. Science courses (biology and chemistry) will not be accepted for credit if they are 7 years or older. A student cannot have more than two (2) graded attempts for a science (lab-science) course within the past 7 years.  A third graded attempt in a science course disqualifies a student from applying. This does not pertain to courses being re-taken due to expiration.

Can I take courses at another college or university and then transfer to the SHSU School of Nursing?

Yes, you can take the prerequisite courses at an accredited college or university. The official transcripts will be evaluated by the SHSU Undergraduate Admissions Office for equivalency to the prerequisite courses required for admission to the School of Nursing. Official transcripts must be sent to the Undergraduate Admissions Office for evaluation before the application deadline. Course work from other nursing programs are accepted on a case-by-case basis.  

How do I know if my courses will transfer?

The SHSU Office of Admissions evaluates all transcripts when you apply to the University. Please refer to the Transfer Equivalency Guide for additional information.

Is there preference given for certain students applying to the program?

SHSU gives preference to specific groups of students: students with credit hours from SHSU, students who have certifications in CNA, CMA, EMT, and Paramedics, veterans or current military and students who already have a bachelor's and/or master's degree.

What is the step-by-step process for applying to the Nursing program?

See Apply Now link for details.

What is the application deadline for the nursing program?

See Apply Now link for details.

How do I find out if my application SHSU materials have been received?

After your SHSU application has been processed you will receive an email from Undergraduate Admissions which will give you the information required to check the status of your application and any transfer credits. This can take up to 10-14 working days. Please keep in mind that your acceptance will remain "Pending" until Undergraduate Admissions receives a decision from the program letting them know whether or not you have been accepted or denied admission. To check on the status of your Nursing application, email

When will I find out if I have been accepted to the School of Nursing?

Acceptance and denial emails will be via SHSU email only within 45 days of the application closing.

If I am not accepted, can I re-apply?

Yes, but applications are not transferable to the next admission period. You must resubmit complete applications for acceptance to both SHSU and the School of Nursing if you wish to be considered for admission at a later date.  However, if you continue enrollment at SHSU, you will not need to reapply to the university. Documentation of additional coursework that has been completed must also be updated when re-application is made.

Where can I take the TEAS entrance exam?

The TEAS entrance exam is offered at, and can be taken at, any of the various testing centers on college and university campuses. Information regarding the TEAS exam schedule at the SHSU Testing Center, click here

What is the minimum score allowed on the TEAS entrance exam in order to apply to the SHSU School of Nursing?

ATI TEAS (TEAS VI) overall score must be a 70 and each subject area must be a 55 in order to apply.  Reading and Math sub-scores will be used at a higher rate than other subject areas.  The TEAS exam may be taken every 30 days prior the application period to which you are applying. During the application period the TEAS exam can only be taken 1 time. Students will submit one TEAS score report during the application period to the School of Nursing (pre-licensure BSN and LVN-BSN). 

NOTE: On September 1, 2016, the TEAS V will be changing its name to the ATI TEAS exam. All other criteria will remain the same. TEAS V scores will no longer be accepted.

Do I have to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)?

Yes, if you are an international student or if English is not your first language, you should take the TOEFL. The minimum TOEFL score to be accepted is 84. For more information, contact Admissions for International Students.

International students must have the appropriate visa to be admitted to SHSU, and then to the Nursing program.

Are letters of recommendation required for acceptance to the Nursing program?

No, SHSU School of Nursing does not require letters of recommendation.

Are dormitories available at SHSU?

Yes, there are dormitories available on the main campus in Huntsville, TX (not at SHSU-The Woodlands Center). For additional information on housing, click here.

Will I be required to get immunizations?

Nursing students must comply with the Texas Health Services Immunization requirements for students enrolled in clinical courses in institutions of higher education. Information about specific immunizations is available on the Apply Now page.

Will I be required to have liability insurance?

BSN students are supplied with liability insurance by SHSU.

Will I be required to have healthcare insurance?

Yes, you must show proof of personal healthcare insurance at the beginning of each semester. Many of our clinical agencies require proof of personal healthcare insurance. SHSU offers a student health insurance plan.

Will I be required to complete criminal background screening?

Yes, students are required to complete criminal background screening after admission to the program. A criminal background check will be done on every applicant who is accepted into the Nursing Program. Instructions for the criminal background check will be included in the letter of acceptance into the program. You will also be asked to complete fingerprint scanning as part of the criminal background check, after you are accepted into the program.

Will I be required to take a drug test?

Yes, students are required to comply with drug testing as part of their continued enrollment in our program. Students are also subject to random drug testing in SHSU's Nursing Program and while at most clinical agencies.

What type of CPR certification is needed for the Nursing Program, where can we get certified, and when do we have to obtain the certification?

The Basic Life Support (BLS) Provider Course covering the adult, infant, child, and two-man CPR (two-year Hospital Level Provider coverage) is required. All new BSN students must complete BLS classes prior to enrollment and obtain a copy of your BLS card. Classes must be taken through the American Heart Association. Instructions for finding a course near you can be found on the Newly Accepted Students page. We prefer students to not obtain the BLS until after notified of acceptance due to expiration purposes.

Is financial aid available for nursing students?

Yes, financial aid is available for nursing students. SHSU Office of Financial Aid

How do I apply for financial aid?

You can complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application online. For more information on financial aid, please call 936-294-1774.

Are scholarships available for SHSU Nursing program students?

Yes. Scholarships are offered to students in the nursing program. Assistance is also available through Financial Aid, including other scholarships, loans, and grants outside of SHSU. Information on University scholarships may be obtained from Scholarships4Kats or email the School of Nursing. You must complete the current academic year FAFSA application to be considered for Nursing scholarships.

Do students take an exit exam in order to graduate?

No, not at this time. However, students must pass standardized tests that are administered throughout the Nursing program. There is also a  comprehensive exam administered during the last semester of the program designed to prepare the student to sit for the NCLEX-RN. That exam is a requirement of a course in the last semester; it is not an exit exam.