Registered Nursing Application Steps

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Admission into the Registered Nursing program at College of Western Idaho (CWI) is competitive and requires a supplemental application process as outlined below. Learn more about the application process by watching a program overview video.

Program Application Deadlines

Fall 2024

  • May 17
  • Applicants will be notified of acceptance into the program after June 4.

Spring 2025

  • Oct. 25
  • Applicants will be notified of acceptance into the program after Nov. 15.
  • 1. Review Qualifications

    Applicants to the Registered Nursing program must be 18 years of age, have a clean background, and may be subject to vaccination requirements as outlined below.

    • Full-Time Commitment: Due to the fast pace and rigorous demands, the Registered Nursing program requires a full-time commitment. Students are encouraged to carefully consider the time commitment prior to scheduling outside employment. It is strongly recommended students not work more than 20 hours per week.
    • Clinical Rotations: Clinical rotations may will vary between shifts and include weekends. Clinical placements may be in or out of the Treasure Valley. The student must make necessary accommodations in order to attend clinical during scheduled timeframes and are responsible for their own transportation.

    Student Handbook

    Background Check

    Admission into the Registered Nursing program is contingent upon the successful completion of a background check for students accepted into the program. 

    • A clean background check is required for full admission into the program and must be completed annually for continued enrollment.
    • Students are responsible for the requesting and payment of the background check as well as handling any disputes that arise. 
    • Background checks performed for previous employment may not be used for admission into the program.


    Registered Nursing students participating in clinical rotations with certain healthcare institutions will be subject to vaccination requirements. CWI has been granted discretion to approve exemptions to vaccination requirements due to medical conditions, disabilities, and/or, religious reasons.

  • 2. Apply to CWI

    Contact Admissions

  • 3. Complete General Education Classes

    While not required to apply to the Registered Nursing program, completion of general education classes with a C or higher will increase your ranking points on your application and are required to graduate. Meet with your advisor to discuss options specific to your situation. 

    • Grades for completed and in-progress classes may be used on your application.
      • Math and science classes must have been completed within the last seven (7) years.
      • Grades for in-progress classes will be verified at semester end.
      • Current CWI students may view their progress in Student Planning.
        • If you are taking classes during Fall 2024 semester and applying for the Spring 2025 semester program start, please complete a Course Credit Verification Form.
      • If you have completed a bachelor’s or master’s degree, please submit a Bachelor’s Degree Transfer Credit Request Form.

    Associate of Science Degree Plan Intermediate Technical Certificate Plan

    Class Options

    • GEM 3: Mathematical Ways of Knowing
      • To demonstrate math competency in math classes seven (7) years or older, students may choose to complete the Math Diagnostic test.
      • Upon successful completion of the Unit 0 and Unit 1 & 2 tests with a 70% or higher, students may request a printout confirming their math competency to include when applying to the program.

    Math Placement Information

    • BIOL 227 & 227L Human Anatomy & Physiology I (GEM 4)
    • BIOL 228 & 228L Human Anatomy & Physiology II (GEM 4)
    • MMBS 111 & 111L Introductory Microbiology or MMBS 250 & 250L General Microbiology (GEM 4)

    For students to demonstrate competency in Biology or Microbiology classes completed more than seven (7) years ago, there are a few options:

    • Complete BIOL 280 Pathophysiology to prove competency in Human Anatomy & Physiology.
    • Complete MMBS 250 General Microbiology to prove competency in MMBS 111 Introductory Microbiology. 
    • Successfully complete a prior learning assessment.
      • The proficiency exam will not change the original grade earned in the class. 
      • Exams for the lab component of each class are not required to demonstrate competency.
      • Students who earn 85% on the exam will receive an email from the program Department Chair confirming a successful pass which should be included with their program application.

     Credit for Prior Learning – Biology Credit for Prior Learning – Microbiology

    • GEM 2: Oral Communication
    • ENGL 101 Writing and Rhetoric I (GEM 1)
    • ENGL 102 Writing and Rhetoric II (GEM 1)
    • PHIL 103 Introduction to Ethics (GEM 5)
    • PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology (GEM 6)
    • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology (GEM 6)
    • GEM 5: Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing
    • HLTH 280 Global Health, MMBS 106 Making Sense of Micro-biotic-me, or PHLT 110 Lifestyle Diseases and Their Global Burden
  • 4. Take the Kaplan Nursing Admissions Exam

    • Schedule and complete the Kaplan Nursing Admissions Exam through Testing Services at CWI.
    • Only scores above 75% will be accepted on the application and must be from within the last five (5) years.
    • Receiving a passing score on the exam does not guarantee admission to the Registered Nursing program. 
    • Students may only attempt this exam twice a year between January and November.

    Schedule Your Exam

  • 5. Verify Certifications

    ­­­While not required to apply to the Registered Nursing program, current certifications you hold can increase your ranking points on your application.

    Accepted Certifications

    The following is a list of accepted certifications. As part of your Registered Nursing Program Application, you will be asked to include a copy of each listing the date issued and expiration.

    • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
    • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)
    • Certified Medical Assistant (CMA)
    • Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
    • Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
    • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
    • Paramedic
    • Physical Therapist Assistant
    • Respiratory Therapist
    • Surgical Technologist

    Additional Certifications

    Additional certifications may also be considered and may count toward your ranking points.

    • As stated above, you will be asked to include a copy of each listing the date issued and expiration with your application.
    • CPR and Assistance with Medications certifications will not be considered.
  • 6. Obtain Professional References

    As part of your application, you will be asked to provide two (2) professional references.

    • Each of your chosen referees will complete a Registered Nursing Reference form.
    • Upon completion, the referee will seal the form in an envelope, sign their name across the seal for official recognition, and return the sealed envelope to you for submission with your application.
  • 7. Apply to the Registered Nursing Program

    Upon completion of Steps 1 – 6, you are now ready to officially apply to the Registered Nursing program.

    Registered Nursing Program Application

    • Your completed and signed application, along with any required materials, should be sealed in an envelope and submitted to One Stop Student Services in-person or by mail by the following deadlines:
      • Fall 2024 – May 17 by 4 p.m.
      • Spring 2025 – Oct. 24 by 4 p.m.
    • Please write your full name and Registered Nursing Program Application on the envelope.
    • Only complete applications will be considered.
    • Additional materials or additions to your application will not be accepted upon submission.
    • Applicants not admitted must reapply each semester. There is not a wait list.

    Application Assistance

    In need of assistance with your application? Attend a recruitment session via Zoom or in-person. 

    • Zoom Sessions
      first Tuesday of the month
      Noon – 1 p.m.

    Meeting ID: 937 6922 2542
    Passcode: 375797