What Are the Basic Entry Requirements for Nursing School?

The basic requirements for admission to a bachelor's degree or associate's degree program in nursing are a high school diploma, an acceptable grade point average and proof of having received a Hepatitis B vaccination. To be admitted to a master's degree program in nursing, applicants must have a bachelor's degree, a current nursing license and reference letters.

An associate's degree in nursing typically takes students two years to obtain. Some colleges may require that students have taken certain prerequisite general education classes to gain entrance to this program. These programs usually require students to complete a combination of clinical work and classwork. Students learn about topics such as mental health nursing, anatomy, adult health concepts and microbiology.

To enter a bachelor's degree program in nursing many universities require students to have a minimum grade point average. Some schools may require students to complete foundational coursework before granting admittance to the program. Depending on the specific college, students may have the option of completing an accelerated BSN program, however, the program typically takes students four years to complete. Some schools offer registered-nurse-to-BSN programs that are designed to assist registered nurses in obtaining a bachelor's degree.

A master of science in nursing program usually takes students two years to complete and is for students who are experienced registered nurses. Universities may require applicants to this program to undergo a criminal background check and to pass a drug screening test.