Less selective nursing schools, direct entry

My daughter has a GPA of 3.2 and ACT of 20. I know there are some very small schools (less than 3000 undergrads) that can be less selective, but she likes larger schools. Any advice on less selective nursing schools? Anyone have info on Bloomsburg Univ of PA, Univ of Hartford, U Mass Dartmouth?

forgot to say, we are looking in the northeast

There is a high demand for nurses but the programs seem to be very selective. Less selective - Endicott College and Hartwick College. Both small but Endicott is near Boston. Expensive schools but it seems the privates typically bring the price down. Good luck!

Bloomsburg is one of the more highly-regarded state directional schools in PA. Are you a PA resident?

Admission to the Bloomsburg nursing program is very competitive and requires an ACT of at least 24 (or SAT of 1180). I don’t know much about the other 2 schools you mentioned. The University of Hartford nursing school website states that ACT/SAT scores are optional for admission, so that may be a good possibility. In general, direct entry nursing programs at larger schools require a higher GPA and higher test scores. I do hope your daughter will consider the smaller schools if she is committed to becoming a nurse. She will most likely benefit greatly from the smaller class sizes and more personalized attention in preparation for the all-important NCLEX.

thank you everyone! We are NY residents. She is applying to the SUNYs that are realistic for her that have nursing

My daughter is a nursing student at St John Fisher in Rochester . Which SUNY schools are you thinking of?

If your D can get into SUNY Plattsburgh, I highly recommend it. Two of my children attended there and the nursing students they met are all working. Plus, it’s direct entry.

Bloomsburg is excellent, very active campus and adorable town.

thanks everyone! she is applying to suny plattsburgh and suny buffalo both of which are direct entry. Also applying to suny oneonta and cortland both of which have majors that interest her if she does not get into direct entry nursing somewhere. She is not a kid who thinks nursing is the only option for her. She’d have to really dig in and commit herself if she got in.

Also applying James Madison, University of Rhode Island, University of Hartford, Towson

I don’t know the average scores of each program, but here’s are some thoughts. There are some community colleges that do a good job of preparing students for the RN exam. Often, the person then starts work, and their employer subsidizes their BSN courses while they work.

Generally, the branch campuses of universities should be less selective. For example, there are a couple branches of Penn State and Pitt that offer nursing degrees. An example is Penn State-Altoona.

There also are some lesser known private colleges with nursing programs that may not be as competitive . For example, in PA there is Misericordia, Alvernia, and Messiah.

Bloomsburg and West Chester are usually considered the more competitive of the PA. state-owned university nursing programs. There are a few in western PA that are probably less competitive, such as Edinboro. However, that college does not have a great reputation.


Here’s a list of all of the nursing programs in PA, along with the RN exam first time pass rates.

You will also see on this list that there are a few hospital-based RN programs in PA.

Our daughter has applied to Bloomsburg after attending a STEM Magnet program there starting in her Junior year last year. Even with their knowing she’s been attending classes there for three semesters, a 3.7 GPA, 1150 SAT, and a healthy list of activities, we’re still worried that she may not be accepted. At Bloom’s open house we were told they receive approx. 1,200 applications for Nursing. Of those, about 300 acceptance letters are sent out for an expected class of about 120 students.

Can your daughter retake the ACT or try the SAT in December? A number of the less selective private schools in PA require a minimum ACT score of 21 (or equivalent SAT score) for admission to their nursing programs.

@kidzncatz how do you know that 21 is lowest they will accept? So many schools do not post this info on their websites. Would be good to know… thank you!

Bloomsburg is off her list. Clear as day on their website it says their requirements: equivalency of 1180 on the new SAT, or ACT of 24 or higher.

@bmcmom I looked up nursing admissions requirements at multiple Pennsylvania colleges with nursing programs. As with Bloomsburg, a number of other schools have the minimum requirements for admission to their nursing programs clearly stated on their websites. Of course, other schools do not. In general, admission to nursing programs is harder than admission to many other majors at most colleges/universities. There are colleges with lower requirements but, as you noted in a previous post, they tend to be smaller schools than your daughter prefers. Has she considered IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)? It is a school of about 10,000 students with a good nursing program. Requirements for consideration are a 3.25 GPA and 1030 SAT (roughly equivalent to a 20 ACT). Smaller schools that might be possibilities for nursing are Neumann, D’Youville, Carlow, Widener. However, since your daughter isn’t really committed to nursing, she may prefer to go to a larger school and choose a different major.

Thank you @kidzncatz this is very helpful. Unfortunately IUP is just too far from us but we did look into it. Sounds like U Mass Dartmouth might have similar stats, looks like we are adding that to the list. She’s applied to 9 schools and we are just making sure there aren’t one or two more schools to add, we have a spreadsheet going of the things that matter to her. Thank you to everyone.

Have you looked at Western CT State University? wcsu.edu/admissions/freshmanapplicant/