Frequently Asked Questions related to admission to the Nursing program
1. What is the Nurse Aide course requirement?
Documentations to verify the successful completion of the Iowa CNA Written and Skills Certification Exams are required for entrance into the nursing program. Valid documentation can either be a transcript or an Iowa Nurse Aide Registry Card.
Effective fall 2012, the 75-Hour Nurse Aide course is no longer required for entrance into the nursing program; however, it is highly recommended (see above)!
• If I'm still interested in the 75-Hour Nurse Aide course, how do I register for it and what is the cost?
You can register for the non-credit course by calling Iowa Valley Continuing Education at 641-752-4645 or 1-800-284-4823. The course also may be taken through high school “career academy” classes, in which case tuition is covered by the high school. Tuition is $395, and is subject to change.
• Is financial aid available for the Nurse Aide course?
Financial aid can only be applied if you take the course as a college credit class. Course #HSC172, Nurse Aide (3 credit hours) is offered in Marshalltown, Iowa Falls and Grinnell. The cost is based on tuition per credit hour plus additional fees.
2. What if I have completed all five general education course requirements for Practical Nursing but I have a C- in one of the courses?
As long as your grade point average (GPA) for four of the courses completed is equal to 2.7 or higher, then you would have met the “Admissions Folder” requirement. The Practical Nursing GPA requirement is calculated using the final grades from Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II, Medical Terminology and the higher of the two final grades from Nutrition OR Human Growth and Development. However, remember that it is important to have strong grades in these general education courses as these courses serve as the foundation for your nursing courses. Research has shown that success with Anatomy and Physiology courses serve as a good predictor of success in the nursing program.
3. What about COMPASS/ACT testing?
COMPASS tests are no longer required for entrance into the nursing program once the TEAS test is implemented (see below). However, they are still required for college admissions at all IVCCD campuses (Marshalltown Community College, Ellsworth Community College and Iowa Valley Grinnell). In addition, COMPASS scores will assist advisors in the placement of students in developmental courses, as needed, in order to enhance their chances of meeting the entrance requirements for the nursing program.
4. What is the TEAS test (for students entering the Practical Nursing program January 2013 and after)?
Effective January 2013 for MCC and August 2013 for ECC , all students must pass the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) Version V Exam prior to acceptance into the Practical Nursing program. The TEAS-V is an assessment developed by Assessment Technologies Institute™ LLC that consists of tests in Reading, Mathematics, Science, and English. The TEAS-V assessments are deemed most appropriate by curriculum experts to measure the entry level skills and abilities of nursing program applicants.
To register for the TEAS-V Exam, please contact Pele Waddilove (MCC Nursing) at 641-844-5726 or Amber Perkins (ECC Nursing) at 641-648-8647.
Minimum required TEAS-V tests scores are:
|Content Areas||% Required Score|
|English & Language Usage||60%|
5. What do you mean by "admission based on completion of "Admission Folder" requirements"?
Admission is based on a “first-come, first-served” basis for the Practical Nursing program. This means you are placed on a waiting list on the date that ALL of the “Admissions Folder” requirements have been met. Students are then accepted into the program based on their placement order on the waiting list – we accept the first 32 names.
Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) students are admitted through a selection process in which each application is reviewed and evaluated based on a set of admissions criteria which follows the ADN admissions requirements which includes but is not limited to the calculation of the cumulative Nursing GPA, the number of successfully completed prerequisite courses and the successful completion of a Practical Nursing program. Students must also provide proof of Iowa licensure as a Practical Nurse. Students who are unable to take the NCLEX exam during the time between graduation from a Practical Nursing program and enrollment in the ADN program may be contingently admitted but must provide proof of Iowa licensure by Sept. 1 of the year in which they enroll in the ADN program. We accept 24 students in the program (ECC & MCC) each year.
6. How is the grade point average calculated for the Associate Degree Nursing program?
The GPA requirement for the ADN program is calculated using the final grades from all prerequisite courses, including those taken at the Practical Nursing level and the final grades from all successfully completed Practical Nursing core courses. The minimum grade point average required for admission is a 2.7.
7. How are the required criminal background checks and child and dependent adult abuse registries related to entrance into the Nursing program?
In what way can a criminal background check affect my ability to get a nursing license or have a student clinical experience in a health care agency? The Iowa Board of Nursing may not issue a nursing license to individuals if there is a history of felony convictions. Clinical agencies are also conducting criminal checks and monitoring child and dependent adult abuse registries prior to allowing student experiences in their agency. Beginning in August 2005, all students accepted to the program will be required to do a criminal background check and abuse registry check prior to starting the program.
8. Is there a waiting list to get into the Nursing program?
If you choose to attend MCC, YES there typically is a waiting list to get into Practical Nursing. Since the Associate Degree Nursing program only selects students once a year, there typically is no waiting list maintained once the selection is made. Applicants who did not get selected, plus new applications, will all start again from zero for next year’s selection.
If you choose to attend ECC, there may be a waiting list to get into either the PN or ADN programs. However this is subject to change each year pending the number of applicants who complete the application process and all admissions requirements.
9. Tell me more about the Blended ADN program at Ellsworth Community College?
What is a "blended" program? The Blended program allows students to complete all of their classroom learning online through a variety of teaching methods such as audio lectures, videos and discussion boards, for example. Homework assignments are submitted online and faculty are readily available for questions and correspondence. It also requires students to periodically visit campus for exams and clinical simulation as well as participating in clinical rotations each week.
When will the blended program start and end? The blended program will start and end on the same dates as the traditional program. The ADN program begins at the end of June and ends the first week in May each year.
How often will I be required to come to campus, and what will be required for the on-campus component? Students will be required to come to the ECC campus once every two weeks to take exams and participate in clinical simulation and other learning activities.
How often are clinicals held? Where are the clinicals located? Students will be required to attend clinicals two days per week at designated clinical sites. Students in both the traditional and blended programs will attend clinicals together at the same sites. Clinical student groups will be comprised of a mix of students in the traditional and blended programs. Presently, students travel to a variety of facilities for clinicals including (but not limited to) Iowa Falls, Mason City, Marshalltown, Des Moines and other facilities as assigned. In addition, all students will be required to complete a preceptorship at the end of the program.
If I am admitted into the blended program, can I switch to the traditional program at any point? No, students will not be permitted to switch back and forth between programs.
Is your blended program accredited? Yes, the blended program meets the same accreditation standards as our traditional program.
Will I be learning the same information in the blended program as I would in the traditional program? Yes, the curriculum and clinical requirements are identical for both programs. Students will receive the same high quality education regardless of the learning mode they choose to pursue. Our full-time ADN nursing faculty members teach the same courses in both programs to ensure consistency.
10. What are my options after completing the Practical Nursing program?
Upon graduation from the PN program, you are eligible to take the NCLEX licensing exam. Successful completion of the exam means that you can now work as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). Those who are considering the continuation of their nursing education may apply for admission to the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program.
Successful completion of this program will mean that you will be eligible to take the NCLEX exam to become a licensed registered nurse (RN). The nursing faculty encourages you to set a goal to complete the ADN program; however, it is highly recommended that you consider working as an LPN prior to entering the ADN program. Your LPN experience will provide you with wonderful experience that serves as a strong foundation for continuing your education. See “Associate Degree Nursing Program Entrance Requirements” fact sheet for further information.
11. General Frequently Asked Questions
a) Is the Nursing program offered by distance education?
No, you cannot complete a nursing program in its entirety online at this time; however, some courses within the programs are offered online.
b) How do I get started on the application process and subsequent requirements?
It’s easy. Simply apply online to the college in which you wish to attend (MCC or ECC). Once you have completed the application, contact the respective Nursing program advisor at the location you choose to enroll and she will inform you of the next steps in the process.
c) I applied to the college, choose Nursing as my major option, and received a letter telling me I have been accepted to the college. Does this mean I am in the Nursing program?
No, it does not. The acceptance letter you receive from the college (ECC or MCC) simply means that you have been accepted to take general education courses at that college. You are considered a Pre-Nursing applicant until you complete all of the entrance requirements for the PN or ADN program. Upon completion of the requirements you will be notified on whether or not you have been admitted into the Nursing program.
d) When should I apply to the Nursing program?
You should apply to the Nursing program at the same time you complete the college admissions application. It is very important to submit the application early to ensure that you are on the applicant list for the semester you wish to enroll and so the Nursing advisors can monitor your progress towards completing your application requirements.
e) Where do I go to take the COMPASS or the TEAS test?
Contact the admissions office of the campus you wish to enroll and they will connect you with the COMPASS test coordinator to make an appointment to take the COMPASS test.
f) What are the COMPASS and TEAS test questions like?
You can find more information about TEAS by visiting https://www.atitesting.com/Solutions/PreNursingSchool/TEAS.aspx. Sample COMPASS test questions from the ACT web site are available at http://www.act.org/compass/sample/index.html
g) Do you have classes every day once you are in the full-time nursing program?
For the PN program, you will be expected to be in class, lab or clinical 4-5 days per week. For the ADN program, you will typically have class and clinical five days per week.
h) Can I take the Nursing program part-time?
No, at this time once you are accepted into the PN or ADN program you must take the program full-time.
i) Can I work full-time and be a full-time student in the Nursing Program?
It is not recommended. We understand that some students must work for financial reasons; however, we encourage those students to limit their hours as much as possible. Students who are unable to dedicate the study time that is required decrease their chances of success in the program.
j) I took some courses at another college or university. Will I receive credit for them?
Transfer courses must first be evaluated before determining whether you will receive credit for them. You must have your official transcript(s) mailed directly from your previous institution(s) to Admissions Office of the college you choose to enroll (ECC or MCC). The official transcript will be evaluated by the Registrar’s Office for transfer credit and a copy of the evaluated transcript will be provided to the Nursing advisor. The evaluation process can take several weeks to complete so it is important to have transcripts sent soon after applying. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Nursing advisor at their campus to verify whether any transfer credit will be earned.
k) I was enrolled in a Nursing program at another institution; can I transfer directly into your Nursing program?
All transfer students must first apply to the college and program (PN or ADN) of their choice and follow the admissions procedures. Transfer students must meet all of the admissions requirements including prerequisites courses. If students wish to have their prior Nursing courses evaluated, they must provide a syllabus from each class they wish to receive credit. The Nursing faculty member will review the syllabi and final decision on transfer credit will be made by the Faculty Member and the Associate Dean. Due to the differences in curriculum between institutions students should not expect transfer equivalency between nursing courses and plan for the possibility of starting the program from the beginning should the syllabi review be denied.
For more information about any of the questions outlined above, please contact the Nursing Program advisor at your desired campus. Their contact information can be found on the “Meet the Faculty and Staff” page.