General Information

Transferring Credits

The required courses listed for the freshman and sophomore years are classified as “general education requirements” or “prerequisites” for the nursing major.

  • Please check with the transfer counselor in Admissions,  to see if any perquisites taken at other colleges will transfer to Northwest University. 
  • All prerequisites MUST be completed before starting the fall cohort.

The Chemistry, Anatomy and Physiology, and Microbiology courses must include a laboratory.  Northwest University typically accepts as a substitute for SCIE 1213 and SCIE 1211, “College Chemistry II and Laboratory,” a biochemistry/organic chemistry class taken at another college if the student can document that it is the bio-organic chemistry course required by the respective college for admission into its own nursing program.

For an English composition class to transfer to Northwest University as a substitute for ENGL 1033, “APA Research Writing,” the word “research” must appear in the course title or course description as an indicator that the student writes one or more academic research papers to fulfill course expectations.  The course must cover proper documentation practices appropriate for scholarly research writing.

For a speech class to transfer to Northwest University as a substitute for COMM 1213, “Fundamentals of Speech Communication,” the course taken at another college must focus primarily on public speaking and on speech delivery.

All prerequisite courses must be complete on or before June 30, of the year you are entering the nursing program. Courses taken at NU are an exception to this and must be complete on the last day of the NU summer term.

Summer Courses

Freshmen and sophomores may lighten their load of credits each semester by taking courses during Northwest University’s Summer Sessions offered in May, June or July.

  • Prerequisite courses typically offered in the summer session include: Lifespan Psychology, Statistics, Old Testament History & Literature, New Testament History & Literature, Christian Thought and the UCOR courses.
  • Transfer students, in particular, may wish to obtain required Bible and Theology credits during Northwest University summer sessions.
  • Bible courses are now available online in the summer as well.

Applying for Admission to the Nursing Major

Nursing major applications are available through NursingCAS  a centralized application service at the end of October.

An applicant to the nursing major must be admitted to the University in order to be considered for admission to the Nursing Major.  Therefore, transfer students must be in contact with the Enrollment Office (425-889-5231, toll free 800-669-3781, email or fax 425-827-0148) regarding admission to the University.

Faculty Decision Regarding Applicant’s Admission to the Nursing Major

Only one group, or “cohort,” of 48 students is admitted each year for the full-time set of junior and senior year nursing courses.   A group of faculty members evaluate applications and recommend to the Dean those applicants who demonstrate the greatest potential for success within the program.  Acceptance letters are sent at the end of March for the fall cohort.


The baccalaureate degree in nursing at Northwest University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (

The Buntain College of Nursing is also approved as a program under Northwest University’s accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (regional).

The State of Washington has granted approval of the program and permits graduates to take the NCLEX-RN examination in order to obtain Registered Nurse licenses in the State of Washington.

Cross-Cultural Nursing and Ministry Experience

A hallmark of the nursing program is a capstone, cross-cultural course taken in the final semester of the senior year.  The student is required to participate in a month-long nursing and ministry immersion experience that requires effectiveness in a cultural setting different than one’s own.  Sites may vary from year to year and may include such places as Taipei, Taiwan; Calcutta, India; Bethel, Alaska; Nairobi, Kenya; Ust Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan or Manila, Philippines.  In rare instances (e.g., a potentially unstable serious medical condition, or a newborn infant needing care) a student may be allowed to satisfy the related objectives of the relevant practicum courses (e.g., NURS 4963) in a local setting.  The student, however, would be responsible for identifying appropriate clinical and ministry sites and mentors that are acceptable to the faculty of the two senior nursing practicum courses.

Academic Standards

The nursing program is academically rigorous because a registered nurse bears life-and-death types of responsibility and because competence should be a defining characteristic of a Christian nurse.  A great deal of reading, research, and memorization are required.  The faculty expects students to make rapid progress in the development of critical thinking, communication, and technical skills.  The University Catalog and course syllabi prescribe specific standards of academic performance.  A grade of “B-,” 2.70/4.0 or better must be earned in each nursing course in order to continue in the nursing curriculum toward graduation.  Even though a 2.70 grade is acceptable in a given class, an overall grade point average of 3.00 must be maintained throughout each semester of the nursing coursework.

Professional Standards

Nursing students must be committed to showing respect for others.  Respect is an underpinning value of professional behavior.  Demonstrating respect for others is necessary to maintain the trust that patients/clients, health care workers, faculty, and fellow students place in each nursing student.  These other parties will continually evaluate each student’s professional behavior as expressed in such ways as positive initiative, teamwork, conservative and clean appearance, reliability, excellent attendance record, punctuality, and timely and accurate communication.

Outside Employment or Extracurricular Activities

In order to satisfy demanding academic standards, students are requested to reduce any outside employment, sports, clubs, etc. to 8 hours per week that do not conflict with clinical or theory course schedules.  During the senior year, especially the final semester of intense clinical work that may be conducted abroad, students should plan to drastically reduce hours or take a leave of absence from outside activities.

Evening, Night, or Weekend Learning Experiences

Students may be assigned to practicum or “clinical” experiences during evening, night or weekend hours based on availability of clinical site opportunities and qualified faculty.  Also, at the beginning of a semester, a faculty member may notify students of mandatory Saturday class sessions.  One reason for such sessions is the increased availability of some experts to make guest presentations on days outside of the typical workweek.

Local Transportation

Transportation to local practicum or “clinical” experiences is the responsibility of the student.  Many local clinical experiences are between 5 and 20 miles of campus; however, some may require traveling up to 35 miles.  If a student does not have a personal vehicle, we recommend being prepared to carpool with other students, use public transportation, arrange for a taxi, or rent a vehicle for specific practicum experiences.  Faculty members do not make clinical assignments based on carpool requests or geographic location of student residence.


It is recommended that each student have a personal computer and continually enhance her/his computer skills. *Check the Examsoft (testing platform) page describing computer requirements for the Examplify app. used here.

Students are expected to check their Northwest University e-mail accounts each day to stay abreast of messages from faculty and fellow students.  Assignments include text documents, Internet research, PowerPoint presentations, website creation, and data collection/management.  Furthermore, collections of relevant journals are accessible via University subscriptions to on-line databases.

Unique Costs

A number of costs within the junior and senior year nursing curriculum are substantially higher than those for other majors at Northwest University.  These costs include:

  1. An application fee submitted to NursingCAS with your application to the nursing program.
  2. The ATITEAS testing fee.
  3. A practicum fee.  This fee is assessed equally each semester for 6 credits.  A principle reason for this fee is the cost of the low student-to-faculty member ratio in practicum or “clinical” settings.  State regulation limits the ratio to 10 students to one faculty member, and NU endeavors to keep the ratio even lower to improve the academic experience.
  4. Textbooks.  In the first semester of the junior year, books run about $1500 because of the number of books needed in the first semester and the books required as references throughout the program.  In subsequent semesters, book costs should be closer to $600 per semester.  Also, there is a one time fee to establish a Foliotek online portfolio for the student’s use.
  5. Supplies.  Various supplies are required and will be communicated as needed. Uniform scrubs and an embroidered lab coat are ordered from Acorn Unicorns on orientation day.  An NU ID badge for use at clinical sites is available for purchase at orientation.
  6. Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) testing.  A one-time, non-refundable fee is charged to cover the cost of student access to more than 18 computerized tests, a set of ATI licensure exam review books, and skill lab training modules.  Tests are administered at strategic times in the junior and senior years to assist students in assessing their mastery of content over which they will be tested on the licensure exam after graduation.
  7. NURS 4963 Nursing Practice as Ministry: The non-refundable fee for the senior, spring semester cross-cultural nursing and ministry trip is divided equally among the four semesters of the nursing program.

Scholarships and Other Forms of Financial Aid

Northwest University financial aid staff may be reached by calling (425) 889-5210 or by sending an e-mail inquiry to  In the “Education Info” section of the website,, links may be found to a variety of websites relating to financial aid for nursing students.  Other helpful websites relating to financial aid for nursing students include:

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