A GED certificate, a high school diploma, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, and a documented eligibility to complete college-level coursework in English, math and chemistry are some standard admission requirements for registered nursing programs, as of 2015. Other requirements are consistent with degree paths that potentially lead to RN licensing, such as general education requirements for an associate degree program.
Many schools of nursing are attached to colleges and universities that prepare future RNs through accredited degree programs. Each program progresses to an applicant sitting for the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse, otherwise known as the NCLEX-RN.
Consequently, independent hospital nursing programs that culminate with a certificate and diploma prior to an applicant sitting for the NCLEX-RN are decreasing in number or evolving to include more comprehensive prerequisites to an RN program. In some cases, the admissions requirements are equally, or even more, rigorous than requirements for an associate of science that leads to sitting for the NCLEX-RN.
St. Luke's Nursing School, for example, requires prospective applicants to take its diploma nursing program to first complete 28 credits of college level courses in the life sciences. Similarly, admissions requirements for any programs at the Bridgeport Hospital School of Nursing include high school or college level chemistry and the equivalent of English 101, or freshman composition.