Nursing, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, Kearney Division

Note: Because of the competitive admissions process to the College of Nursing, it is strongly recommended that students interested in nursing contact their pre-nursing advisor or one of the five campuses for current information and advising. The following information is an overview of the College of Nursing. More detailed information is available in the Bulletin of the College of Nursing which may be obtained from the Student Advisor on one of the five College of Nursing campuses.

University of Nebraska Medical Center programs are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All programs of the College of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The nursing program is also approved by the Nebraska Board of Nursing. The purpose of this baccalaureate nursing program is to prepare the graduate for entrance into professional nursing practice as a generalist and to provide a foundation for graduate education in nursing.

A total of 120 credit hours are required for completion of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)-College of Nursing (CON)-Kearney Division.

BSN Purpose

The undergraduate nursing program at UNMC-CON is committed to quality higher education and a learning environment which promotes personal development, scholarship, and competent practitioners who are skilled in the caring art and science of nursing. The graduate of this program is prepared for entry into nursing practice as a generalist with emphasis on the roles of provider of health care, coordinator of health care, and member of the nursing profession.

Graduate Program

The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing offers graduate programs leading to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and doctor of philosophy (PhD) degrees. The masters student enters with an interest in a chosen field of clinical nursing and basic clinical competence. The masters program offers several nurse practitioner options, clinical nurse specialist options and a health systems administration option. The doctoral student enters with clinical competence in a chosen field of nursing and an interest in a specific area of research.

The DNP is the highest practice-focused degree in nursing, designed to prepare experts in specialized advanced practice nursing. DNP programs focus heavily on practice that is innovative and evidence-based, reflecting the application of credible research findings.

Graduate-level nursing courses are offered by the graduate faculty at the College of Nursing. All programs of study are planned with the major advisor after acceptance into the graduate program.

Registered Nurses

The College of Nursing offers an advanced placement program for registered nurses leading to a bachelor of science in nursing. Interested RNs should contact the Student Services Advisor, Health Sciences Education Complex, for details.


As a provider of health care, the baccalaureate generalist integrates scientific, conceptual and nursing practice competencies from the domains of knowing, relating and developing that are common to nursing and human experience.

As a coordinator of health care, the baccalaureate generalist employs managerial, nursing practice and professional competencies to promote comprehensive cost-effective and meaningful health care for consumers in diverse health care environments.

As a member of the profession of nursing the baccalaureate generalist displays a professional ethic and behaviors reflective of the social responsibility and caring tradition of nursing.

Admission to the BSN Program

Admission Policies

Applications for admission to the College of Nursing are welcomed from women and men who are interested in preparing for a career in nursing. In accordance with university policy, UNMC prohibits the denial of admission on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or religious or political beliefs.

Preference for admission may be given to Nebraska residents. Admission is competitive based on grade point averages of pre-nursing college/university work. Applicants must be able to meet eligibility requirements for licensure to practice nursing in Nebraska. Persons who have criminal records, substance abuse problems or health problems that could interfere with safe practice may be ineligible for licensure. Applicants must submit a disclosure statement prior to admission and complete a background check prior to enrollment. Admission may be denied or rescinded based on a review of the background check and disclosure statement.

A freshman student who wishes to pursue a pre-nursing course of study at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) should make application to UNK as a pre-nursing student. While completing his/her pre-nursing requirements, the student applies for admission into the UNMC-CON. Admission into the major is competitive and the student may indicate a preference for one of five campuses: Kearney, Norfolk, Omaha, Lincoln, or West Nebraska in Scottsbluff.

A pre-nursing student may request information regarding admission to the nursing program from the office of the College of Nursing Kearney Division located in the Health Science Education Complex (Phone: (308) 865-8322).

English Proficiency for Applicants Whose Native Language is not English

For applicants whose first language is not English, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR the Pearson (PTE) is required. Test results must be recent (within two years prior to UNMC application). An official score report must be received by the campus to which the student is applying.

Minimum scoring standards:

  • Internet-based TOEFL (iBT): minimum score of 22 in the reading, listening, and writing sections and a minimum score of 26 in the speaking section.
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE): minimum score of 59 in the reading, listening, and writing sections and a minimum score of 71 in the speaking section.

Clinical Facilities-Kearney Campus

The College of Nursing, Kearney Campus, utilizes a variety of health agencies throughout the Kearney area for clinical learning and experience. Cooperating community agencies include: CHI Health Good Samaritan Hospital, CHI Health Richard Young Hospital, St John Good Samaritan Center, St Luke's Good Samaritan Village; St Francis Hospital, Grand Island, NE; Mary Lanning Hospital, Hasting, NE. All students complete a rural health experience. All clinical course work is under the direct supervision of the College of Nursing faculty.

Transfer Credit

Usually credit earned from an accredited college is acceptable to the University of Nebraska. Grades from other than a University of Nebraska campus must be at least 2.0 (C) if the course is to be accepted for transfer credit by the College of Nursing. The College of Nursing reserves the right to evaluate all credit hours submitted on an application. Transfer credit hours are recorded with no grade or quality points assigned.

Applicants from other than University of Nebraska campuses will receive credit in the program based on the transferable college credit hours they present which are equivalent to the College of Nursing program requirements. It is emphasized that even though courses and credit hours may transfer, the College of Nursing is the final authority on how these courses and credit hours apply toward a degree in nursing.

Credit earned more than ten years prior to application for admission will be evaluated. Applicant may be required to repeat selected courses, or validate knowledge through challenge examinations.

Financial Aid

Following admission to the College of Nursing, all financial aid for nursing students is disbursed through the UNMC Financial Aid Office, Box 984265, Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-4265. Application materials are obtained from that office.

Technical Standards for the Undergraduate Program

All candidates must meet minimum technical standards to function successfully as students and later as practitioners of nursing. The following general abilities have been identified as necessary to meet the technical standards for admission.

The student must possess the functional use of the senses of sight, hearing, touch, and smell. He/she must also possess a sense of equilibrium along with sufficient motor function to carry out activities required in nursing. Additionally, the student must possess the communication and intellectual skills to perform the assessment and intervention activities required in providing nursing care.

These general abilities will be required to meet the objectives of undergraduate courses and will be evaluated throughout the program.

Admission Requirements

For admission requirements, please visit:

Application Process

Application information about the College of Nursing can be obtained online at Applicants may obtain additional information through the Student Services Advisors of the College of Nursing (Kearney Division 308/865-8322).

The application for admission includes the following:

  • An online application,
  • Two recommendations,
  • Official transcripts of ALL university/college work and any other educational institutions attended since graduation from high school, as well as
  • Scores from TOEFL or PTE for English as a Second Language Students.

Students with a minimum cumulative college grade point average of 3.0 (B) may apply for admission. Since the College of Nursing cannot admit more students than it has resources to accommodate, admission is competitive based on prerequisite course GPA and course completion; therefore it is in the best interest of the student to complete as many of the non-nursing courses with the best GPA as possible. A course grade of "C" and below in any of the pre-nursing prerequisite courses is not acceptable to the UNMC College of Nursing. Final admission is dependent upon successful completion of all prerequisites and all admission requirements.

Applications are accepted once a year by February 1. The starting date for the program is late August. Applications are reviewed in March, and enrollment may be limited by educational resources available.

Transcripts and all other materials submitted in support of an application become the permanent property of the university and will not be returned.

Applicants who are enrolled in pre-nursing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Kearney, or University of Nebraska at Omaha must authorize the transfer of records and transcripts by completing the "Change of Campus" form.

Following acceptance, and prior to enrollment, the student must provide

  1. immunization information,
  2. verification of CPR for Health Professionals certification,
  3. proof of certified nurses assistant certification, on the Nebraska DHHS Nurse Aide Registry, and
  4. completed disclosure and background check.

Acceptance is not final until these requirements are met. Students are required to have current immunizations and CPR certification throughout the program. All students with 7 or more credit hours are required to carry health insurance. Finally, each student admitted to the College of Nursing must meet with the Student Services Advisor on his or her campus to file a projected plan of study.

Nursing Major

  1. Pre-Nursing