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Prerequisite Classes

If I took BIO 201, BIO 202, BIO 204 and/or BIO 216 at a different institution, and earned more than one D or F in those courses, can I retake them at PPCC to earn better grades to apply to the nursing program?

No more than one grade of D or F is allowed in any of the 200 level BIO courses that are required for the Nursing Program in the past seven years.

Are online Biology or Math courses accepted for the Nursing program?

Yes, Biology and Math courses can be taken online for the Nursing programs at PPCC. However, some other RN or BSN programs may require that these courses be taken in-person.

Can I take the CLEP exam for any of the prerequisite courses?

Yes, students can take the CLEP exam for ENG 121 and PSY 101 and PSY 235. However, there will be no grade awarded, and those credits will not be included in the calculation for points for the Nursing application. As of Fall 2018, the CLEP Biology exam can no longer be taken for 5 full BIO 111 credits.

Am I required to take BIO 111 (General College Biology 1 w/lab) before taking BIO 201 (Anatomy & Physiology 1 w/lab) and BIO 204 (Microbiology w/lab)?

Yes, BIO 111 is a prerequisite for both BIO 201 and BIO 204 at PPCC. Note:  As of January 11, 2021, BIO 204 is required for PPCC Nursing programs, and is often required for other Nursing programs. Be sure to check with your target institution. There is an option to take the Accuplacer BIO 111 placement test in order to get into BIO 201 and BIO 204. Consult with Advising and Testing for more information.

Note for AAS/Nursing: BIO 201 and BIO 204 must have been successfully completed within 7 years of the application process. If a student does not test out of BIO 111, it must have been completed within 15 years.

Note for AAS LPN-RN: BIO 201, 202 and BIO 204 must have been successfully completed within 7 years of the application process. If a student does not test out of BIO 111, it must have been completed within 15 years.

I did not take BIO 111. Can I still apply?

Yes. (as of January 11, 2021)

Can AP or IB credit count toward the prerequisite courses?

Yes. AP and IB credit can count toward ENG 121, BIO 111, and PSY 101. Please see an Advisor in Advising and Testing to clarify minimum score needed and exactly what exams will count toward courses. Students may also visit the Prior Learning for Credit webpage to view the testing matrix. Official score reports will need to be submitted to the Records Office to have credit transferred in to PPCC.

Can I apply with any of the prerequisite coursework in-progress?

No, all prerequisite coursework must have grades posted before the application deadline in order to apply.

RN Program Prerequisites - ENG 121, PSY 235, BIO 201, and BIO 204. (BIO 204 is required as of January 11, 2021.)

LPN to RN Program Prerequisites: ENG 121, PSY 235, BIO 201, BIO 202, and BIO 204 (Changed for Summer 2022 start.)

I completed Human Anatomy & Physiology I and II at my previous institution. Do I qualify to take BIO 204 Microbiology at PPCC for a different Nursing program?

No, completion of BIO 201 and BIO 202 does not meet the prerequisite for BIO 204 (Microbiology) at PPCC. The prerequisite is BIO 111 (General College Biology I). There is an Accuplacer Biology placement test that can be taken, and if passed, place students into BIO 204. This test does not grant credit. See your Advisor in Advising & Testing for more information.

Can I repeat prerequisite courses I already passed for higher grades? Is there a limit to the number of times I can repeat them?

Yes, you can repeat courses you have passed to receive higher grades. However, if you are using Financial Aid, you will need to check to see if it will pay for a repeated course. Additionally, you can retake courses such as BIO 201, BIO 202 and BIO 204. However, you cannot receive more than one D or F, or you will be disqualified from applying to the Nursing program for 7 years.  

Note for AAS/Nursing: Within 7 years of application, the first two attempts each in BIO 201 and BIO 204 will be used to calculate the prerequisite course GPA.

Note for AAS/LPN-RN: Within 7 years of application, the first two attempts each in BIO 201, BIO 202 and BIO 204 will be used to calculate the prerequisite course GPA.

AAS/Nursing: I will be completing my prerequisites in the Spring semester. Will I still be able to apply to the full program for Fall admission?

Yes, students completing prerequisites in the Spring semester can apply by the deadline in May for Fall admission. The application deadline is typically one week after grades are posted for the spring semester. Final grades for prerequisites MUST be posted and be reflected on the unofficial PPCC transcript submitted with the Nursing application. However, this is not the case if students complete prerequisite classes in the Fall semester. If students are completing prerequisites in the Fall semester, they cannot apply by the September deadline, as their grades will not be posted until December. Thus, those students will have to apply in the Spring for the following Fall start.

AAS/LPN-RN: Stay tuned to the department website for application rounds and requirements. 

Admissions Requirements

Please see the Nursing webpage for an overview of admission requirements and the Nursing Information Sessions.

Check these resources frequently for updates, changes and when applications are posted.

I currently do not live in Colorado Springs, am I required to attend a Nursing Information Session?

AAS/Nursing Program candidates living beyond a 50-mile radius from the Center for Healthcare Education and Simulation campus who wish to waive the mandatory attendance requirements for the Nursing Information Session are required to follow the procedures outlined by the Nursing Department. Instructions can be found on the Nursing Department website.

AAS/LPN-RN do not have to attend a Nursing Information session. (As of September 2021)

Do students need to be 18 by the time they apply or by the time they start the Nursing program?

Students must be 18 by the time that they apply.

How are points calculated for admission into the AAS/Nursing program?

Points are calculated based on GPA for the four required prerequisite courses

AAS/Nursing: ENG 121, PSY 235, BIO 201, BIO 204 (BIO 204 is required as of January 11, 2021).There are a possible 40 points, with the additional possibility of earning an extra 2 points if student has a prior degree (Associates or higher from a regionally accredited institution). If you have more than one degree, the 2 points are only awarded once. Inquire with the Nursing Department for how GPA is calculated for admissions.

AAS/LPN-RN: ENG 121, PSY 235, BIO 201, BIO 202 and BIO 204. See the LPN-RN website for GPA calculations.

Do students who have a Bachelor of Arts or Sciences degree get preference in the application process?

Anyone who has an Associate’s Degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university gets extra points in the application process. Note: The maximum amount of extra points a student can gain from a previous degree is two (2). If you have more than one degree, the 2 points are only awarded once.

What is the minimum GPA requirement?

The minimum GPA is 2.5. This is posted on the Nursing web page and on the Applications. However, this is a competitive-entry program and students whose GPA is higher are always considered first.

I am currently licensed as an LPN, can I be accepted into the program and only need to complete the remaining 2 semesters of coursework to earn an RN?

You would have two options:

Option 1Nursing: LPN Advanced Placement Option, AAS. Student's must provide a Current and Active Colorado or Compact License. The LPN to RN Bridge Program is a summer start only program. Students who are accepted into the Bridge Program will complete NUR 189 - Transition from LPN to ADN over the summer semester, and will then complete the remaining 2 semesters of coursework under the ADN program. The application requirements for the LPN to RN Bridge Program can be found on the Nursing Department website. 

Option 2: LPN's can choose to apply as other unlicensed Pre-Nursing students, but must repeat the first two semesters of the degree and then complete the final two semesters. Your current and active Colorado or Compact LPN License replaces the requirement of the NUA Courses or the C.N.A. license. You still must attend a Nursing Information Session. And you still must take the TEAS test.

This option may provide a quicker path to completing the Associates Degree in Nursing, but careful consideration should be given to the amount of Financial Aid or VA benefits you have remaining. 

Does experience working in the medical field give students a greater advantage when applying?

No, points are only awarded for the GPA for the prerequisite courses, and if the student has a prior degree. There are no other points awarded for having experience working in the medical field.

How many students are accepted into the RN and LPN Nursing programs?

AAS/Nursing: There are two cohorts every year. One cohort starts in the Spring semester and one starts in the Fall semester. Typically there are approximately 60 students accepted for each cohort, thus approximately 120 students are accepted every year. 


Can any coursework that is part of the Nursing programs be completed prior to applying?

AAS/Nursing: Yes. MAT 103, BIO 202 and BIO 216 can be completed before applying to the Nursing program. No NUR courses can be taken prior to admission to the Nursing program. 

AAS/LPN-RN: Yes. BIO 216 and MAT 103 can be completed before applying to the Nursing program. No NUR courses can be taken prior to admission to the Nursing program. 

BSN: Yes. Any of the general education courses not yet completed may be done prior to any NUR courses. MAT 135 Statistics must be taken by the end of the first bi-semester of the BSN program or prior to admissions to the BSN program in order to advance.

For AAS/Nursing and AAS/LPN-RN, do students need to complete an elective in Humanities or Social Sciences to meet degree requirements?

By default the prerequisite for PSY 235 is PSY 101 and this acts as the one elective requirement. Only if a student wants to take general education courses toward a BSN would they take anything further in these areas. Students can consider taking general education courses that apply toward most BSN programs, however students will need to verify exact requirements with PPCC Advising for PPCC BSN requirements or with their target institution.

Am I required to attend a Nursing Information Night?

AAS/Nursing: Yes.

Students can find information on this by going to the Nursing Department website. View the Nursing Information Session video on the Nursing Department website to learn more about the requirements for applying. You must have the Information Session verification completed and attached with the required application packet forms.


Where do I find the Nursing application, and how do I know when it is due?

Information on the Nursing applications, along with the application deadlines, will be on the Nursing Application Process websites.

I am only interested in the LPN Exit option. Is the application process the same as the RN? What does the LPN Exit option consist of?

The application process and requirements are the same for the RN and LPN Exit option. Students are eligible to apply to write the NCLEX-PN at the successful completion of the first year of nursing courses and NUR 169 - Transition into Practical Nursing (minimum of C grade).

Is there a waiting list for the Nursing program?

No, there is no waiting list. If students do not get accepted, they can re-apply by the next application deadline. There is no limit to how many times a student can apply.

I started college under a different major and took a lot of classes I ended up failing or withdrawing. Will that affect my chances of getting into the Nursing program?

Points for the Nursing applications will only be calculated based on the Nursing Department posted prerequisite courses. Failing grades or withdrawing from other courses outside of the prerequisites and program requirements will not affect your chances of getting into the Nursing program. Withdrawing from any of the prerequisite classes does not affect you in regards to the application. However, failing grades in the prerequisites will if you received more than one D or F in any 200-level BIO class within the last 7 years. This will disqualify you from applying to the program for 7 years. See the Nursing Application websites for any rules regarding repeated 200-level BIO courses.

Can I take non-Nursing courses while in the Nursing program (i.e., BSN general education courses, language courses, etc.)?

Yes, non-Nursing coursework can be taken while in the Nursing program. However, each student will need to check with Financial Aid and Military and Veterans Programs to verify that those courses will be covered.

Does PPCC offer part-time or online Nursing program options?

For AAS/Nursing and AAS/LPN-RN: No. There are no part-time or online options to complete the Nursing program. It is a full-time program offered only in-person. The State of Colorado requires the same amount of classroom time as clinical hours. It would be very difficult for a student to work even part-time around this demanding program.

For BSN - Yes. The BSN program is designed for nurses working full-time and the program can be part-time. All upper-division (300-400) NUR courses are online with a few hours of clinicals arranged through the Nursing Department.

Will my “dismissed” offenses on my record disqualify me from getting into the Nursing program?

No, any dismissed offenses will not disqualify you from getting into the Nursing program. Please review background check disqualifying offenses.

Is there an interview for admission into the Nursing program?

There is no interview for admission into the Nursing program. AAS/Nursing and AAS/LPN-RN students need to compile all application materials as outlined on the Nursing department website, and turn those into the Nursing department. Students will be notified of acceptance status.

How many times can a student apply to the PPCC Nursing programs?

A student can apply as many times as they wish.

Are Nursing student applicants free to use marijuana because of the Colorado Marijuana Law?

All hospitals, PPCC Nursing Assistant courses and Nursing programs will not accept someone whose drug test indicates marijuana use.

What type of CPR certification is required?

Basic Life Support (BLS) Healthcare Professional. Certification must be through the American Heart Association. Find options through PPCC's AHA non-credit courses, take HPR 102 (.5) or seek out the training at other American Heart Association sites.

Nursing Assistant/CNA

Nursing Assistant Program

Nursing Assistant faculty are located on the Rampart Range Campus in E-213.

Can an EMT certification, working as a Medical Assistant, or being a military medic substitute for the CNA requirement?

For RN and LPN Exit Option: No. Only an LPN license can be substituted for the CNA requirement.

Do I need to maintain an active Colorado CNA certificate while in the Nursing program?

No. If a student is already licensed in Colorado, they only need to be active when applying to the Nursing program. If students have taken NUA 101, 170 and 171 at PPCC, they do not need to be licensed.

Can I take the CNA out in the community?

Yes, DORA (the Department of Regulatory Agencies) has a list of Nurse Aid approved education programs by county in Colorado.

I had my CNA certificate but it expired. Do I have to retake the CNA classes at PPCC?

Students with an expired CNA certification can contact DORA (the Department of Regulatory Agencies) for information on how to renew their CNA certification. 303-894-7800

I took the CNA classes at my previous institution, but I never got the certificate. What can I do to fulfill this requirement?

Students can contact DORA (the Department of Regulatory Agencies) for information on taking the state CNA Certification Exam. If the courses were taken at another Colorado Community College, that credit may be considered. See your Advisor in Advising and Testing for more information.

TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills for RN and LPN-RN Programs)

What is the minimum score I need to pass?

The ATI TEAS exam has four sections: reading, mathematics, science, and English and language usages. The score standards are posted on the Nursing Department application pages. The TEAS exam must be taken within 365 days of application deadline. The exam consists of 170 multiple choice questions with an overall time limit of 209 minutes.

Where can I take the TEAS test and how do I schedule it? 

The Testing Center offers the TEAS exam Monday through Friday at Centennial and Rampart Range Campuses only. The TEAS test can be scheduled online. Prior to testing, testers need to create an account on and provide their username and password to the Testing Center on the day of testing.

How much does it cost? 

Check with the Testing Center for current costs for proctoring and testing. Testers will pay the PPCC cashier a proctor fee. Testers will purchase the TEAS test with a credit or debit card the day of the exam at the delivery computer via If you do not have a debit or credit card, please contact for alternative payment methods. A score report is printed by the tester upon completion. Testers can find more information about the TEAS test on the ATI website.

What should I study for the TEAS test?

The TEAS test covers Reading, Mathematics, Science, and English and Language Usage. Study materials and practice tests can be accessed on the test website or at the PPCC bookstore. Please also see the Certification Testing webpage.

Do students who have taken the HESI (another nursing entrance exam) still have to take the TEAS?

Any applicant to PPCC's Nursing Program must take the TEAS and meet the CURRENT national average, even if they have already taken the HESI.

Accepted Into the Nursing Program

What is the accreditation status of the Nursing program at PPCC? Has the Nursing program lost its accreditation?

PPCC’s AAS Nursing program has not lost accreditation. Starting in 2011, it received National NLN accreditation, now Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing ACEN, and has maintained that since that time. Additionally, the Nursing program has consistently maintained Colorado State Board of Nursing Accreditation. NCLEX pass rates for PPCC and other programs can be seen by going to the DORA website.

I am interested in dual-enrollment, how do I do that?

The PPCC Nursing Department offers the Dual-Enrollment BSN option and the BSN Completion option. Otherwise, students can view the RN to BSN Transfer Guide for Colorado Nursing Programs for more information regarding transferring to other BSN programs. For further questions, students should contact their intended transfer institution for information on dual-enrollment. Local partnerships include UCCS and CSU Pueblo. Additionally, the PPCC Nursing Department hosts Dual Enrollment fairs every year. Please contact the Nursing department for more information on when this is held.

Where do Nursing students complete their clinical component?

Clinical components for the Nursing program are held at local hospitals and healthcare agencies that are under contract with our Nursing Department.

Will my RN license be valid when I move to another state?

If your RN license is in good standing, you will need to apply for licensure by endorsement from your new State Board of Nursing.

Can Nursing courses be taken over the summer?

There are typically one summer course in the Nursing program for the first two year courses, except for the AAS/LPN Exit Option course NUR 169 Transition into Practical Nursing, or for the AAS/LPN-RN Bridge course, NUR 189. This is also the only time these courses are offered. If a student has the BSN in mind for the future and wants to take summer courses, they can take general education courses for the BSN. Or, if they are accepted and have completed their first semester in the AAS/Nursing program, they may apply to get into the PPCC BSN program and may take the 300-400 level NUR courses online. If they have been accepted into any Dual Enrollment program, such as at UCCS or CSU-Pueblo, they could take upper division BSN courses online in the summer as well. Please contact CSU-Pueblo, UCCS or your target BSN institution to find out more about these courses.

After earning the AAS/Nursing degree, and get my RN license, am I able to be employed in other states outside of Colorado?

Our program is locally and nationally accredited so our graduates do transfer state to state.

How is a Registered Nurse (RN) with an Associate’s degree different from an RN with a Bachelor’s degree?

Nurses who carry the RN title and license and the BSN title are both RNs. Both have completed the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) — a national test that’s required for licensing and practice as a nurse in the United States. The largest difference between the two is the level and length of education they have received. To become an RN, students can earn an AAS/Nursing from a college or university program or a Diploma of Nursing through a hospital-based nursing program. BSN-prepared nurses have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and have received additional training in leadership, management, and administrative roles. Both AAS/Nursing-prepared and BSN-prepared nurses can care for patients and perform traditional duties such as assessments, completion of procedures within the scope of practice, and medical charting. But an RN without a bachelor’s degree may not qualify for some nursing jobs that require additional education. These jobs may include nurse educator roles, some unit or departmental coordinator roles, and management positions. Many hospitals require all new hires to have at least a BSN.


Can I start PPCC’s BSN program while I am in the PPCC or other Associate Degree in Nursing program?

If a student is accepted into the PPCC AAS/Nursing program, yes. Students accepted into other AAS/Nursing programs should check with that Nursing Department.

PPCC’s BSN Completion program is designed for actively licensed nurses. The PPCC BSN program also has the Dual-Enrollment option for student currently in the PPCC AAS/Nursing degree.

There are other Dual-Enrollment options where it is possible to start the upper-division Nursing courses, but students must be admitted into those 4-year institutions. Students should research on their own and communicate directly with the institutions of their choice to verify admissions processes, general education requirements, Financial Aid and military funding streams.

General education courses for Dual Enrollment programs can be taken at PPCC and then students can apply to other institutions. Students will need to submit an official transcript to those institutions. Consult with the PPCC Financial Aid Office and/or the PPCC Military and Veterans programs to be certain of what could be covered here for other programs.

I am currently working as an RN in another state, can I apply to the PPCC BSN Completion program?

Yes. As long as you have a current RN License in good standing from Colorado or a compact state, you can apply. For questions about non-compact state licensure, please contact the Nursing Department at 719-502-3450.

When can I apply to the BSN program?

Consult the BSN Department website for opening and closing dates of each round.

Will my GPA be calculated on all of my coursework?

No. Admissions GPA for the BSN will only be calculated on the Nursing courses you have completed. No general education courses will be calculated.

Are all of the BSN Completion and upper-division (300-400) Nursing courses online?

Yes. And there are on-ground clinicals included in NUR 410 and 411. These are coordinated through the Nursing Department.

What are the part-time and full-time options?

The BSN program is designed for students in the PPCC AAS/Nursing program and working RN’s to take two classes each semester. These courses are only 8 weeks in length and are back to back (first bi-semester and second bi-semester.) A student may advance as classes are available. Check with the Nursing Department if you wish to explore other options.

If I don’t have History or some of the other required general educations courses, can other transferable courses be substituted?

An History course is required to earn a BSN liberal arts degree. A liberal arts degree is defined as the academic course of instruction at a college intended to provide general knowledge and comprising the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, as opposed to professional or technical subjects. Consult with the Nursing Department for questions based on your previous coursework.

Other general education course requirements may have some options, but students should work with the BSN Program Coordinator or Advisors in Advising and Testing on the remainder of those requirements.

I already have an Associates Degree or AGS degree and an AAS/Nursing degree earned at PPCC or elsewhere. Will I qualify for more Financial Aid or VA benefits before I get into the BSN program?

Financial Aid - No. Once a student has completed enough credits for Associates degrees at a community college, the only way they can qualify for more Financial Aid is by acceptance into a BSN program.

VA Benefits - Possibly. Students using VA benefits should check with our Military and Veterans Programs to understand what courses are eligible. 

Are there any scholarships for the BSN Completion program?

Check with the PPCC Scholarships department as to what might be available.

Some Healthcare organizations have tuition assistance. Check with your Human Resources Department.

Can I get Financial Aid, VA benefits or Tuition Assistance to cover the costs of the BSN Completion program?

Depending on your eligibility—Yes.  However, you will need to be accepted into the BSN program before you might qualify. Check with Military and Veterans advisors and Financial Aid and your Academic Advisor, to see if any general education courses you need might qualify before acceptance into our BSN Completion program.

Will I have to retake the NCLEX at the end of the BSN Completion program?

Not for the BSN Completion option. Since an RN is simply seeking to complete the BSN when accepted into the program, there will be no other licensure testing to complete the BSN.

Meet with your general Medical Sciences Advisor to set up course plans. Contact the Nursing Department for more detailed answers.


Your most important resources for PPCC Nursing Programs

are on the Nursing Department website.

Check these resources frequently for updates, changes and when applications rounds are open.

The Nursing program is located at the Center for Healthcare Education and Simulation.

The Nursing Assistant program is located on the Rampart Range Campus in E-213.

Last Updated: March 5, 2021