Transferring into the Nursing Major

Specific information for transfer students applying to nursing is in the University catalog. Generally, students must apply to Messiah University by April 15 (fall admission) and October 15 (spring admission) and meet all University admission criteria prior to the nursing admission process. Transfer students must have an earned cumulative GPA of 3.3 in previous college work to enter the nursing major. Specific prerequisite courses are required before beginning clinical nursing courses.

A variety of credits may be transferred into the nursing program. Generally, nursing credits, themselves, do not transfer easily, but general education credits, and prerequisite course credit may be transferred. Interested students who wish to apply and transfer credits should contact a transfer admissions counselor for more detailed information and an evaluation of their previous college work.


It is impossible to give a precise amount of time, because much depends on the number and type of college credits a prospective student has successfully completed for transfer. Generally, there are 11 major clinical courses that are taken during the course of study. These courses begin in the spring semester of the sophomore year and proceed sequentially over the next five semesters (not including summers). View the 8-Semester Plan.  Certain non-nursing prerequisite courses are required before beginning the clinical sequence. Depending upon the student's type and number of transferred courses, it may take up to an additional four years to complete the nursing program. Again, prospective students who wish to transfer credits should contact a transfer admissions counselor to discuss the options for transferring into the nursing program.



The nursing program holds clinical contracts with a wide variety of excellent clinical agencies in the Central Pennsylvania area. Most are within 15-20 minutes travel from the campus; a few are 30-45 minutes travel from campus. They vary among the many different types of places that registered nurses typically work including small rural hospitals, suburban hospitals, urban hospitals, university medical centers, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, rehabilitation hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and more. A wide range of clinical opportunities are provided within these hospitals and agencies including clinical rotations in pediatrics, maternity, medical-surgical units, critical care-adult and pediatric, emergency department, operating rooms, outpatient clinics, in-home nursing care and more. Additionally, the nursing program has letters of agreement with many sites that serve as observational and health teaching sites for student experiences including schools, prisons, soup kitchens, hospices, low income-housing facilities, wellness centers, and more. There are multiple opportunities for rich clinical nursing experiences in our nursing program. See our facilities for more information on our clinical sites and partner wellness centers.

Nursing students begin at the sophomore level with 9 hours of clinical experience a week and move to 12 hours of clinical experience per week during the junior and senior levels. Additionally, the Senior Capstone course offers 120 hours of concentrated clinical experience in a clinical area of their interest.

Nursing students are required to provide their own transportation to clinical agencies beginning in the sophomore year. Students are often able to carpool with other students, but will sometimes have to provide their own independent transportation to different sites.

Clinical groups are normally 8-9 students per faculty member.

Yes, all full-time faculty have direct clinical teaching responsibilities and supervise students directly while they are having their clinical experiences. Experienced adjunct faculty also supervise clinical experiences.


No, absolutely not! The faculty strive to support all admitted students toward success in the nursing program; however, the nursing program has rigorous standards and high expectations. Some students may find the nursing major is not ideal for them and choose to seek another major. Faculty are always available for advisement and counseling to assist students to meet their educational goals.

No, specialization in nursing occurs at the master's or graduate level of study. Study for the baccalaureate degree in nursing is at a generalist level. Acquiring the baccalaureate degree is the foundation required for master's level study in nursing.

No, there are a very few classes offered in the evening hours. A few nursing clinical experiences are in the evening hours, but the associated classes for these clinical experiences are during the day time hours.

Yes, part time study is available.  Please contact for more information.


Specific information and guidance is provided to students to help them prepare for the NCLEX-RN.  An integrated testing and remediation software package is incorporated throughout the nursing curriculum to help students study and remediate weak areas.  Competency testing is included in the nursing courses.  A review course is provided to senior nursing students after graduation to prepare them for the NCLEX.


Yes, there are a number of nursing scholarships and loans available. Please visit Nursing Scholarships and Loans or contact a counselor in the Office of Financial Aid for more details on our scholarships and loans.


Yes, many nursing majors have played varsity sports. Nursing faculty and coaches work collaboratively to assist students who wish to play sports.



Yes, it is possible; however, the nursing major is a very structured major. Students who have advanced placement credits or transfer credits find the study for a minor much easier. Careful planning with one's academic advisor is essential if a student wishes to pursue a minor area of study. Minor areas of study are not required to graduate from any major at Messiah University.

International Study

Yes, nursing majors can participate in semester-long off-campus programs during the fall semester of their sophomore year. Students who are interested in a semester long international study opportunity should discuss their interest immediately, during their first year, with their academic advisor. Nursing students have studied in Rwanda, Spain, Australia, Rome, New Zealand, Uganda and Belize to name a few. The Agape Center for Local and Global Engagement provides students with a broad range of information on international study options; interested students should contact this office for more information and for a complete list of international opportunities.

Graduate Education

Yes, graduates from the nursing program have been successful at all levels of graduate study including master's and doctoral study in a variety of colleges and major universities in the United States and abroad.  A few examples of areas of study our graduates have successfully undertaken include:  nursing education, trans cultural nursing, family nurse practitioner, business administration, community health nurse practitioner, oncology, primary care, nursing administration, pain management, drug and alcohol counseling, school nurse certification, acute care nurse practitioner-cardiology, ministry/missions, allergy and asthma specialty, biblical studies, pediatric critical care, nurse midwifery, theology, Spanish, and others.

Yes! We offer a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Please see our Graduate Programs in Nursing page for more information.