four nursing students talking

Program Admission


Admission Policy

Admission to Coe College does not assure entry into the nursing program. This webpage defines the requirements for acceptance into the program and the two paths for entry into the nursing program.

Admission to the Coe College Nursing Department Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program is competitive because only a limited number of students can be supported in our preceptor model. The Nursing Department Admissions, Promotion and Retention Committee is responsible for determining the entry process for each student and reviews each student's academic record to ensure eligibility requirements are met both at the time of entry and throughout the program.

Eligibility requirements for the nursing program:

Admittance eligibility prerequisites

For a student to be eligible to take nursing courses at Coe (other than NUR 100 and 200), the following eligibility requirements must be met:

  1. Complete Coe College General Education requirements and 16 course credits.
  2. Complete NUR 100 Nursing Issues Seminar (freshmen) and NUR 200 Nursing Issues II (sophomores) each semester that the student is in attendance at Coe College prior to entering the Nursing major.
  3. Satisfactorily complete, the following required supporting courses:
  4. BIO-145 Cellular and Molecular Biology
  5. BIO-195 Introduction to Microbiology (lab included)
  6. BIO-215L Human Anatomy Lab
  7. BIO-215 Human Anatomy
  8. BIO-225 Human Physiology
  9. CHM-111 Introduction to Organic & Biological Chemistry (lab included)
  10. PSY-100 Introductory Psychology
  11. STA 100/110 Statistical Reasoning Foundations/Inferential Statistics
  12. SOC-107 Introductory Sociology
  13. Complete all required supporting courses (with a C or better) with no one specific course repeated more than once and with no more than two different courses repeated due to earning less than a C. This rule applies to courses taken at Coe and other institutions.
  14. Earn a cumulative GPA of at least a 2.70.
  15. Possess valid licensure.
    1. Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) – only applies to current LPNs.
    2. Certified Nursing Assistant (Direct Care Worker), which must be current/active on first day of fall class junior year.
    3. License regulations in accordance with the State of Iowa Board of Nursing state that a clinical component may not be taken by a person:
      1. Who had been denied licensure by the board.
      2. Whose licensure is currently suspended, surrendered or revoked in any United States jurisdiction.
      3. Whose licensure/ registration is currently suspended, surrendered or revoked in another country due to disciplinary action.
  16. It is expected that students will have no criminal record and no dependent adult/child abuse offenses. However, if there is an offense, students will be asked to complete an Explanation of Offense form. That form along with copies of the student's background check will be sent to the Iowa Department of Human Services. DHS will review the information and determine if the student will be granted to work in health care facilities.
  17. Students must submit to a functional assessment by a licensed physician or Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) and be found safe to work with or without accommodations in health care facilities.

Requirements to remain in the program once admitted:

  1. Complete all nursing courses with a C or better.
  2. Maintain at least a 2.7 cumulative GPA.
  3. Continue with no criminal record and no dependent adult/child abuse offenses.

Entry into the program

Coe College's process for entry into the program is competitive, with only the best qualified candidates accepted. Progression in the program is contingent on meeting program requirements each semester.

Coe offers two paths to enter the nursing program: Standard entry — for sophomore level (or higher) college students, and direct entry — for selected high school seniors.

Standard Entry Plan

Sophomore level (or higher) college students who (1) meet the eligibility requirements above (2) have completed a majority of the 16 course credits and (3) are registered for remaining prerequisite spring term courses are invited to complete an application for admission to the Coe College Nursing Program in December of their second year. Meeting the eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission to the nursing program.

In reviewing applications, the committee considers the following criteria to determine the most qualified of the eligible candidates: overall GPA; academic performance in the required supporting courses, especially the natural sciences; the number of courses taken at Coe College; the number of repeated courses; and the courses left to complete at time of application to the nursing program.

Direct Entry Plan

Direct entry into the Coe College nursing program is available for selected high school students only. High achieving high school students have the opportunity to enter the nursing major as first-year students and be admitted to the nursing program through the direct entry plan. This plan is a possibility for academically qualified candidates who decide early that they wish to pursue the nursing program at Coe and who want early assurance they will enter the program with a strong academic record in college.

Direct Entry Criteria:

To be considered for direct entry, students must meet minimum ACT, GPA and course requirements (listed below) and interview with nursing faculty. Admission is competitive, thus, meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. All direct entry applicant files are reviewed by nursing faculty.

  1. Minimum 27 ACT Composite Score
  2. Minimum 3.7 or higher GPA
  3. Minimum 25 ACT Science Reasoning Score
  4. No deficiencies in the minimum high school course requirements: four years of English; three years of mathematics, science and history; and two years of foreign language.

Direct Entry Rights and Obligations

Students chosen for direct entry will remain entered in the nursing program as long as they meet all eligibility requirements and maintain a GPA rank in the top third of all applicants at the end of the sophomore year. If a student falls below that rank, direct entry is no longer available. The student can compete for entry through the standard entry plan.

Direct Entry Application Process

  1. Complete and submit the Direct Entry Application and official high school transcript (including ACT scores) by January 1 deadline. Nursing faculty welcome earlier application submissions.
    • A letter requesting the direct entry application may be sent to the Coe College Nursing Department.
    • Mailing address:
      Coe College Nursing Department
      1220 First Avenue NE
      Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
  2. Nursing faculty will review applications. Candidates meeting the eligibility requirements will be contacted to schedule an interview after the application is received.
  3. All candidates will be notified of direct entry admission decision by February 1.
    • Students admitted to the direct entry program will receive a Statement of Intention to Enroll form.
  4. Acceptance Deadline: February 15.
    • Acceptance is appreciated by February 15 but not required until May 1. To accept the direct entry offer and secure placement, the student must submit his/her nonrefundable enrollment fee using the information provided on the Statement of Intention to Enroll form.
  5. Direct entry is competitive.
    • Fewer than one-third of total enrollment will be chosen for direct entry.
    • If not accepted to the direct entry plan, qualified applicants can request to be placed on the direct entry wait-list for an opening.
    • Once enrollment in the direct entry plan is filled, remaining qualified students admitted to Coe College will apply to the nursing program according to the standard entry plan in December of sophomore year.

Summary of Direct Entry Deadlines

  1. Direct Entry Application and official high school transcript due January 1
  2. Scheduled interview: Interviews are generally held in mid- to late January. Please check with the Office of Admission for exact dates.
  3. Offer of Direct Entry Admission: February 1
  4. Acceptance is appreciated by February 15 but not required until May 1.

Please send the direct entry application and official high school transcript (including ACT scores) to:

Coe College Nursing Department
1220 First Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402