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Program Policies and Requirements

Academics / Departments & Programs / Nursing / Program Admission / Program Policies

Calvin’s accredited nursing program is a rigorous academic experience that will provide you with the cognitive abilities, technical skills, and leadership capabilities to thrive in a nursing career.

The process of joining our program differs from the process of joining other academic programs at Calvin, and it is best begun early and with guidance from a nursing faculty advisor. The process typically follows this model:

  1. Apply for admission to Calvin University.
  2. During your freshman and sophomore years, complete required pre-nursing courses in biology, chemistry, psychology, sociology, and nutrition.
  3. In the first semester of your sophomore year, apply to join the nursing department. Once accepted, spend your junior and senior years in classroom, lab, and practicum settings.

See below for information on our early admission policy. Please note that if you plan to study abroad as part of your academic experience, you should speak to an advisor to make sure you understand the scheduling requirements and implications.

A more detailed description of the program requirements and application process is below. It’s important to note that completion of the required pre-nursing courses does not guarantee admission into the nursing program.

Due to the need to carefully plan your nursing experience at Calvin, we strongly suggest contacting us for guidance as early as possible.

How to join us

Application to the upper division nursing major normally occurs during the first semester of the sophomore year. Applications are due on December 1 for the class beginning the following September. Applicants who submit after the deadline will only be considered on a space-available basis. If you are currently studying at another college or university, please call the nursing department for more information on transfer opportunities.

Nursing Application for Admission

In order to apply to the nursing program, students must have the following:

  1. At least sophomore standing (greater than or equal to 27 credits) at the application due date.
  2. Completed six nursing prerequisite courses at the application due date.
  3. A minimum overall Calvin cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.8 at the application due date.
  4. A minimum pre-nursing Calvin GPA (GPA acquired from the nine pre-nursing courses) of 2.8 at the application due date.
  5. A minimum grade of C on each of the prerequisite courses at the application due date.
  6. No more than one repeat per required nursing prerequisite course. No more than two of the nursing prerequisite courses may be repeated.
  7. No more than one withdrawal across the nine pre-requisite courses except for documented extenuating circumstances.
  8. Be 18 years of age or older by September 1 of the application year.

Students should also take note of the following policies:

  1. Prerequisite natural science courses must have been completed within the last seven years.
  2. Preference will be given to applicants who have completed or will complete all nine nursing prerequisite courses at Calvin.
  3. Preference will be given to applicants who have completed more than six prerequisite courses at the time of application.
  4. Preference will be given to students who have not repeated nursing pre-requisite courses.
  5. Consideration will be given to applicants who have made repeated applications to the nursing major.
  6. Applicants who submit applications after the due date will be considered on a space-available basis.
  7. Prerequisite courses in progress must be completed by the end of Calvin University's second summer session with a minimum grade of a C.
  8. All admissions are contingent on maintaining admission criteria up to beginning the nursing program.
  9. All transcript grades at the time of application are final and alterations will not be accepted after the time of application.
  10. Enrollment in the upper division nursing major is also contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check and drug screen.

It is important to note that completion of the pre-nursing courses and achievement of the minimum criteria does not guarantee admission into the nursing major. Enrollment in the final two years is limited, and thus the admission process is selective.

Nursing Program: Early Admission Policy

A high school graduate interested in nursing is eligible for early admission to the nursing program at Calvin University. The student must meet the following criteria:

  • A composite ACT score equal to or greater than 24 or
  • An SAT critical reading plus math score equal to or greater than 1190 or
  • Average marks of 91 percent or higher from a Canadian high school
  • Students must specify a nursing major on their Calvin University application. Prior to Calvin admission for their freshman year, students must submit their final Early Admission qualifying scores.

In order to maintain early admission status, a student, at the Calvin University Department of Nursing application deadline, must have:

  • A 3.3 GPA in the nursing prerequisite courses at Calvin
  • A 3.3 cumulative GPA at Calvin
  • Completed admission requirements (i.e. criminal background check, disciplinary check, drug screen) as specified in the Calvin catalog of the year of the student’s admission to Calvin.

Transfer Students

Students who have transferred to Calvin from some other college or university will be considered Calvin students (rather than as transfer students) if they will have completed two semesters of full time academic work at Calvin by the time they begin the upper division major.

Students desiring to transfer to Calvin for the upper division major, who have completed course work judged by the department to be equivalent to the nine required pre-nursing courses, will be considered for admission to the nursing program after qualified students from Calvin have been accepted into the program.

Applicants for admission, who are graduates of Calvin, will be given equal consideration for admission with current Calvin students.

For additional information on transferring to Calvin University, please contact Academic Services.


Nursing students will be charged Calvin tuition. In addition, a fee will be assessed for each nursing practicum course. Students can find the latest cost information on Calvin's Program Costs page. Students normally take one practicum course in each semester of the two-year upper division major; four total semesters.

Prior to beginning the nursing practicum courses, students will need to buy uniforms, name tags, a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff, and complete an American Heart Association Healthcare Provider CPR course. Additional costs will be incurred for health-related items such as immunizations and titers as required by the practicum agencies. 

Lastly, textbooks are a significant investment in becoming a nurse. In recent years the textbook bundle has averaged around $1100 for the two year program; this covers most of the textbooks over the four semesters of the upper division nursing major. Nursing textbooks are beneficial as students graduate and enter into a nursing career or graduate school. Students also receive the electronic version of these textbooks when purchasing the bundlewhich will always be accessible beyond graduation.  


Classroom and laboratory experiences take place on the Calvin campus. During the final two years, practicum experiences occur at a variety of sites in the greater Grand Rapids area. Students are responsible for their own transportation to those settings. While students may be able to carpool with others for some practicum experiences, there will be occasions throughout the junior and senior years when personal transportation may be necessary.

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