Q: What is a BSN degree?
A: The bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN) is a four-year, full-time program. Students complete approximately 2 years of prerequisite and degree requirement courses followed by 2 years in the nursing program if the student stays on track with course completion. Upon degree completion, graduates are eligible to apply to take the NCLEX-RN exam (Registered Nurse [RN] Exam). This program is intended for students who do not hold an RN license.

Q: Is there a time limit on how long ago prerequisite science support courses have been taken and can still be used to meet the entrance requirements to the program? 
A: No, science support courses (anatomy, microbiology, and chemistry) must be completed for admission into the program, but do not have a time requirement.

Q: How do I know if a course that I’ve previously taken will meet the entrance requirements for the program? 
A: Transferology is a quick and easy way to find out if the college credit you’ve earned will transfer to Rockford University. Simply visit the Transferology page and enter your courses to find equivalent courses at RU. The Admissions Department can also help with reviewing transfer courses. Courses with a pass/fail grade will not be accepted for nursing, though courses with a pass/fail grade completed spring 2020-spring 2021 will be considered on an individual basis.

Q: I have completed university coursework or a degree outside of the United States. How do I know which of these credits will be accepted at Rockford University?
A: First, you’ll need to have this coursework evaluated by an independent evaluation company. Here is a link to an evaluation company that applicants with international documents can use. We will not evaluate foreign transcripts which have not first been evaluated by an independent evaluation company.

Q: Do you accept 2nd bachelor degree students for nursing at Rockford University?
A: Yes, 2nd bachelor degree students can be admitted to the University as undeclared students (area of interest nursing) and can apply to the nursing program. Please contact the Office of Admission for admission criteria.

Q: How many entry points are there per year into the nursing program?
A: Two: spring and fall semester.

Q: Who has to take the TEAS exam?
A: The TEAS is designed as a predictor of success for nursing program applicants. This exam is required for transfer and traditional applicants; it is not required for Early Decision option students.

Q: Does work experience in a healthcare facility better an applicant’s chances of being selected?
A: No. Working in a healthcare facility gives you valuable experience that can help as you complete nursing program coursework and clinical experiences. However, academic preparation, especially in high school chemistry, algebra, and other science and math courses, are critical to prepare for college level courses.

Q: If I want to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), what do I have to do?
A: Students that have successfully completed NURS 201 – Foundations of Person-Centered Care can apply to take the CNA certification exam. The student should contact the nursing department chair for their information to be submitted to take the CNA exam. For all information related to becoming a CNA, including testing dates and locations, go to the following Web site,

Q: If I took a nursing prerequisite course and received a grade that I didn’t like, and took that same class again, what grade will you accept?
A: If the course is taken at another institution, no course with a grade of less than a “C” will be accepted. A student who receives a grade lower than a C- in any required natural and social science support course may repeat the course and have the repeated course grade counted toward the CGPA. Only one of the required natural and social science support courses may be repeated. If a student receives a grade lower than a C- grade in more than one of the required natural and social science support courses, they will not be considered for admission to the program.

Q: What is provisional acceptance?
A: When a student is notified of a provisional acceptance, this means that a space has been reserved for that student in the nursing program for the following class. This becomes a full acceptance upon successfully completing any remaining prerequisites and maintaining progression requirements.

Q: Once admitted to the nursing program, how long will it take to complete nursing course requirements?
A: Nursing course work is sequenced over 4 semesters. Students who retake a course or take courses out of sequence may need longer to complete the program.

Q: Can a student take nursing courses without being enrolled in the School of Nursing?
A: Currently one nursing course, NURS 150 – Contemporary Nutrition, can be taken without having been accepted into the nursing program.

Q: Is there a Student Nurses Association at Rockford University?
A: Yes. Contact the nursing department for meeting times and places for the Nursing Student Organization (NSO). First-year and new students are encouraged to join.

Q: Once I’ve been admitted to the nursing program, must I always maintain a cumulative grade point average (CGPA)?
A: Yes. At the completion of the first nursing semester, students are required to achieve a nursing GPA of 2.3 calculated for all NURS courses and a cumulative GPA for all Rockford University courses of 2.7. At the completion of the second, third and fourth nursing semesters, students are required to achieve a nursing GPA of 2.5 calculated for all NURS courses and a cumulative GPA for all Rockford University courses of 2.7.

Q: What if I fail a nursing course?
A: You must immediately discuss your academic issues with your academic faculty advisor. The nursing student handbook outlines the complete policy for program progression and dismissal policies. Note: You may repeat a nursing course only once. Two withdrawals and/or failures in any combination of nursing courses will result in dismissal.

Nursing Department
Starr Science Building
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108
Fax: 815-394-5166

Sarah Urban, Ph.D., RN, CNE
Department Chair of Nursing
Associate Professor of Nursing
815 226-4126

For those interested in the Nursing Program, please contact Admissions at 815-226-4050.