Thank you for your interest in the Stephens College Nursing program. Nursing is a rewarding career for those with the commitment to serve, and Stephens offers a program focused on preparation and opportunity. Our program is competitive and contingent on academic qualifications and space availability. We believe in looking at the “whole you,” but we do have some general guidelines for admission to the program, which you can find below. 

Students completing high school, high school graduates, and students with prior college experience are invited to apply. Primary consideration is given to high school (secondary school) academic record, college entrance test scores, application essay, and experience in health care. Students are accepted for fall enrollment. Please note that admission to the program does not guarantee NCLEX-RN licensure eligibility. Licensing is determined by state boards of nursing.


Nursing Admissions Guidelines

Stephens College believes in a holistic review process for future nursing students. That means we consider a broad range of factors in making application decisions. No one factor will determine admission into the program. Program expectations can be found in the Nursing Handbook. To learn more about what the program seeks in a candidate for nursing, please join one of our information meetings or virtual open houses.

Candidates for the Stephens College Nursing program must meet the college general admission requirements as well as the following requirements or recommendations:


Current U.S. High School Students 

Students may apply directly from high school to begin the fall semester. Admission to the program is competitive and based on available space. Class size is limited to 24 students. Applications are reviewed as they are received, and admissions will remain open until the class is filled. Ideally, completed applications should be received by March 1, with the deposit deadline May 1 to secure a spot in the program. Primary consideration is based on the secondary school academic record. Applications must include the following in order to be reviewed:

  1. Three units of high school science including biology and chemistry. Preferred scores above a C.
  2. Three units of high school mathematics including algebra. Preferred scores above a C.
  3. Grade point average 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  4. College Entrance Examinations Board Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or the American College Testing Program (ACT). Preferred scores are 
    • SAT: 1100 or higher (out of 1600) OR
    • ACT: 22 or higher (out of 36).
  5. Submit an essay indicating experience with health care and nursing 
  6. Pass a satisfactory criminal background check and drug screening for professional practice and register with the Missouri Family Care Safety Registry (FCSR). Completed after admission.


Students with Prior College Experience  

Applicants with prior college experience (at an institution other than Stephens) must meet the following:

  1. Meet the high school admission criteria above or have 12 or more transferable college credits including college-level chemistry and mathematics (algebra or statistics) with a college GPA of 3.5.
  2. Submit an essay indicating experience with health care and nursing
  3. Pass a satisfactory criminal background check and drug screening for professional practice and register with the Missouri Family Care Safety Registry (FCSR). Completed after admission.


Students Seeking Advanced Standing

If students meet the criteria for admission based on high school or prior college, they may request to transfer into the program with advanced standing for admission.  Admission will depend on space and prior coursework. Advance standing students will need to meet the readiness for clinical criteria within two weeks of the admissions deadline.

January transfer admissions for advance standing will complete the program in 7 semesters including two summer sessions. Applications should be received by November 1. Students will have completed the following courses:

BIO 112 Inquiry Based Learning in the Lifesciences - 3


CHE 111 General Chemistry - 3


EDU 114 Life Span Development – 3


PSY 111 General Psychology – 3



Non-Discrimination Statement

Stephens College does not discriminate in its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities on the basis of age, color, disability, gender expression and identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status and all other classifications protected by law. Stephens College also prohibits retaliation against any person opposing discrimination or participating in any discrimination investigation or complaint process internally or externally. Reports of misconduct, questions regarding Title IX or disability accommodations, any other concerns related to equity or noncompliance, or requests for a complete copy of the College’s policy should be directed to the Stephens College Equity Compliance Team at [email protected] or (573) 876-2321 or the Assistant Secretary of Education within the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at 


Standards for Professional Licensure

In the Missouri State Board of Nursing, Statutes & Rules, the Nursing Practice Act, Chapter 335, is found on page 12. Applicants should familiarize themselves with the Nursing Practice Act and the process for seeking professional licensure. Pages 17-18 provide information for complaint procedures and denial, revocation or suspension of a license.


Start Your Nursing Program Application

You may apply to the Stephens College Nursing program either through the free Stephens College application portal, or through NursingCAS. No preference is given to either application method.



Patient Care Technician Applicants 

Students accepted to the Nursing major may be eligible for the Patient Care Technician (PCT) program through Boone Health. The program begins five weeks prior to the start of the semester and concludes following the completion of practice hours in the first semester. Learn more + apply >

Contact Us

Admissions + Aid

Stephens College Visitors Center
(573) 876-7207 (573) 876-7237 [email protected] 1215 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65215
Learn More

School of Health Sciences

Pam Middleton,
Nursing Administrative Assistant
573-876-7278 [email protected] 222 Lela Raney Wood Hall Nursing Program

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