Nursing & Health Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions BSN Basic Track

If your question was not addressed through any of these means, please contact a nursing advisor by calling our Advising Office 208-792-2688, or emailing us at

Is there a specific order I should take my classes in?

See the Sequential Plan located in our catalog

Do you have an “Accelerated Program”?  Do you have a program for previously degreed students?

We do not have a program that is labeled “Accelerated”.  Students with previous degrees follow the basic BSN curriculum plan.  Classes from earlier academic degrees are evaluated at the time of application to the college; students may meet general education core requirements as a result.

How difficult is it to be accepted into your nursing program?

We admit 45 students twice annually and we receive around 70 applications each semester. Applications are due in February and September each year. This increases the opportunity for students to successfully apply and be accepted. The criteria used for admission are given in detail here.

How can I improve my chances of being accepted?

Students who achieve high grades in the sciences without repeating classes have an advantage due to the correlation of science grades with success in the nursing program. Points are also awarded to students with previous BS/BA degrees or higher (at the time of application.) Points are given to LCSC students who have completed at least 32 credits here (at the time of application) and also anyone who submits their NursingCAS application on or before the priority deadline for that application cycle. See for more information.

My GPA is low due to poor focus in my early college years. Does this old GPA need to be considered in admission?  My grades are very good now.

Unfortunately, your previous grades are part of your permanent academic transcript and will be factored into your cumulative college GPA. The minimum is 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) and ineligible GPA's may be considered on a case by case basis. Please see your advisor for questions. If you don't have an advisor, please contact us at For questions about repeated prequisite grades, only the most recent attempt is counted in the Science GPA.

Where can I get my nursing assistant certification?

LCSC’s Workforce Training has classes that are offered throughout the year. 

Often your local healthcare agencies also offer training.  Some long term care agencies offer training as part of your agreement to work for them.

I am an international student.  Can I apply to your program?

Of course!  However, the requirements for foreign students entering US colleges are sometimes difficult to meet. It is recommended that you talk directly with the Office of International Students.

Please see our website  for full requirements to qualify to apply to the LCSC nursing program.  The TOEFL iBT or IETLS tests of language competency are required for admission to the nursing program for all students for whom English is not the native and first language.  These tests must have been taken within two years of application.

If you have taken college or university courses in a country other than the United States, the courses have to be carefully evaluated by an outside agency for transfer to our college.

I will transfer from another college/university.  What steps should I take?

Apply to the college and have official transcripts sent to the Admissions office. Once admitted, you will receive a Transfer Equivalency Report that shows how your previous coursework has transfered. You may also view our Transfer Guide webpage to see how your courses may transfer prior to applying to LCSC.

Students from the University of Idaho and Washington State University can find advising transfer plans on the Transfer Guide page link above.

I have taken courses at other colleges.  Can those apply to your nursing admission requirements?

Yes.  There are two components that are considered for transfer credit:  General Education Core requirements and Nursing Prerequisites.

The transfer of General Education Core credits is evaluated and approved by the Registrar’s office.  That is done once you apply to Lewis-Clark State College.  Students who transfer having fully completed their general education lower or upper core requirements at another accredited college generally receive credit for that completion. 

The transfer of credits toward completion of nursing prerequisite courses is evaluated by a nursing advisor.  This is completed once official transcripts from other schools you have attended have been received at LCSC.  You must also supply the course descriptions from the schools you have attended. These are needed so that we can evaluate the course content for equivalency.

The nursing program has required courses that are also general education courses.  To find the list of Nursing prerequisite courses, please see the Suggested Course Sequence Plan on the BSN home page.

Is there a way to know what courses from my local college will apply to the requirements for your nursing program?

You can view equivalencies by following this link to the Transfer Equivalency System.  This guide lists courses by college and LCSC equivalencies. Some courses may not be listed, please contact a NHS program advisor for assistance.

How long is the Basic BSN program?

Pre-nursing coursework and general education requirements can be completed in 4 semesters.  Of course, you may take longer depending your entrance testing scores and whether or not you attend school full time.

The BSN program is 4 semesters in length and does not include a summer semester.  These 4 semesters are sequential (they follow one to the next).  Once you apply and are accepted to the nursing program, it is expected that you continue in the program until graduation.  In other words, you cannot decide to stop for a while and return later at your own discretion.  If you stop the program for any reason, you will need to reapply and be re-admitted. 

Can I attend the nursing program part time?

No.  Once you are accepted into the nursing program, fulltime enrollment is required.  Prior to acceptance into the nursing program, part time study is acceptable.  It is recommended that you complete General Education and pre-nursing courses needed for application to the nursing program within 6 years to avoid changes in the curriculum and prerequisites.

The application requires grades for courses that I am currently enrolled in.  Can I still apply?

Yes.  Please mark the course as “IP” or “In Progress”.  If you are taking the course at a college other than LCSC, the college must send an official record of your grade to the LCSC Admissions Office.   Please see the application form for the details about classes that must be completed at the time of application. 

Can I take other classes while I take nursing classes?

No; it is not practical for several reasons.  The nursing course curriculum is intense and requires a great deal of study and clinical time to be successful.  In addition, the clinical schedule is such that non-nursing courses that meet regularly would be missed.  Courses toward a second degree, for example should be integrated prior to entering the nursing program, during summer sessions, and after completion of the nursing coursework.

How much can I work while I am in the nursing program?

It is recommended that work commitments be secondary to scholastic commitments during the nursing program. The critical thinking that is required in nursing is very different than in most past classes; the study required to accomplish this is intense.  A suggestion is to have no work commitments until after the first exam in several classes.  The grade you receive will give you a good indication of how much time you need to commit to study vs working.

Is there an expiration to the classes that I took long ago?  Some of my classes are more than 10 years old.

The college does not presently set limits on the “age” of past coursework.  Faculty members, however, caution that students need to carefully evaluate their knowledge from these older classes.  It may be more difficult to be successful in courses which rely on past knowledge which is not recent. 

How much travel is needed by students who are in the nursing program?

Due to its rural setting, the nursing program uses a variety of healthcare agencies in rural Idaho and Washington states.  Many agencies are in the local area; some are not.  You will very likely spend at least two semesters commuting up to 40 miles for clinical experiences.  You are expected to be able to work any shift within a 24 hour time period as a nursing student.  While this information may seem difficult to think about, it is our experience that most students adjust quite well, carpooling, staying overnight, and using the drive time to study.  We make attempts to accommodate individual requests but it is not always possible to arrange this.  Faculty attempt to give students ample time to arrange child care and work schedules around the clinical assignment.

Spokane healthcare agencies are used for some clinical experiences.  Overnight stays required by the clinical scheduling are arranged and paid by the nursing program.

What is a “clinical rotation”?

Students practice the skill and art of nursing by taking care of patients under the supervision of nursing faculty.  Clinical time consists of many things:  work at hospitals, assignment to specialty observation events, simulation, scenario testing, and seminars.  The clinical rotations are 225 hours in length in each of the four semesters. 

How expensive is the nursing program?

Please contact Financial Aid at the college for information on fees, assistance, and scholarships.  

Nursing texts are expensive; the primary expense is in the first semester of the nursing program.  We attempt to use these texts throughout the program.  However, each course thereafter typically requires at least one text. Other expenses are immunizations, equipment, background checks, and CNA training which are typically not covered by financial aid. Personal health insurance throughout the program is also required.

What kind of student housing is available in Lewiston?

Please contact Student Services for questions about general college questions, or Residence Life about specific housing questions.

Do you have an LPN to BSN Track?

Yes!  We have a completion track for those students who have received an A.A. or A.A.S. degree and licensure as a practical nurse. The program length depends on the number of pre-requisite courses that have been completed.  Please see LPN-BSN Track Options for more information.  On campus courses are required with some courses offered online.