What is the benefit of earning a BSN degree at Grand Valley State University?

Today's nurses must not only be prepared to provide expert nursing care but also be able to help transform health care in hospitals and other settings. In the BSN program, the student has the opportunity to develop the professional knowledge, skills and attitudes to meet these challenges. The BSN curriculum prepares graduates to provide holistic evidence-based nursing care to individuals, families and communities. 

Developing knowledge in local, regional and global health care systems prepares the BSN graduate to take a leadership role in the health care team. Ultimately, a BSN degree provides the best preparation for advanced education and extraordinary career opportunities.

Some of the features that set Grand Valley State University (GVSU) apart from other nursing programs include:

  • A full-service, residential university campus in downtown Grand Rapids affords students convenience, flexibility, and opportunity.
  • Student nurses will attend class in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences, located in the heart of West Michigan's life science corridor, will help prepare the next generation of professionals for advanced opportunities in health care research, education, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • State-of-the art facilities including a 708,000-volume library, laboratories and classrooms all located in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences (CHS) building located in the heart of West Michigan's life science corridor  Check out the Virtual Tour of our simulation labs: VIRTUAL TOUR
  • Nursing courses taught by faculty acclaimed for both their scholarship and real-world experience.
  • Grand Valley offers an excellent education at a reasonable cost.

 What type of accreditation does the Kirkhof College of Nursing have?

The Kirkhof College of Nursing is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

How do I get accepted into the nursing program?

  • Accepted to GVSU as a degree-seeking undergraduate student and declare Nursing as major prior to application submission.
  •  Overall GPA of 3.0 or above (includes non-GVSU college credits) at the time of application.
  •  Complete all pre-requisite courses with a ‘C’ (not C-) or higher. Must be completed BEFORE application submission.
  • A completed application by January 31 for admission into the Fall semester, or a completed application by August 31 for admission into the Winter semester. 
  • Compliance with the Kirkhof College of Nursing course repeat policy: Students may repeat a total of three pre-requisite courses and only two of those courses may be science courses (BIO, CHM, BMS.)

Admission to the nursing program is highly competitive. Students who only meet minimum requirements may not be competitive.  Multiple selection criteria are used to determine admission to the nursing program.

The admission criteria will be a combination of pre-requisite GPA + interview + Laker score (bonus for taking 29+ credits at GVSU).

 What are the pre-requisite courses requirements?

  The pre-requisite GPA consists of the following courses: BIO 120, CHM 109, WRT 150, PSY 101, BMS 250, CHM 230, and one general education class of your choice (3 credits or above).

The following classes must be complete with a grade of C (not C-) or higher before the start of the nursing program but do not factor into your admission:  BMS 251, BMS 212, BMS 213, PSY 364, and STA 215.

Are there any other courses required?

Yes. The General Education requirements required by Grand Valley State University for all students earning a baccalaureate degree. In addition to the GVSU General Education requirements.  For a comprehensive curriculum guide, click HERE (pdf. file will open)

Does the Kirkhof College of Nursing have a waiting list to get accepted into the program?


Are there scholarships available for nursing students?

Yes. Contact the GVSU Financial Aid office at (616) 331-3234 for further information. Scholarships are also available through the Kirkhof College of nursing. More information can be obtained on our website: KCON Scholarships

Do I have an Academic Advisor?

Yes, you will be assigned a nursing Academic Advisor after you register for your first class at GVSU and declare Nursing as your major. Academic Advisors assist with the development of educational plans, explain institutional requirements, assist with the exploration of career goals, clarify and guide students through the nursing admissions process, enhance student awareness of educational resources, and help students with personal and academic needs. Once you are admitted into the clinical coursework, you can also be assigned a faculty mentor who will provide career guidance and support.

How long is the program?

There are three of pre-clinical course work. The professional nursing courses take five semesters to complete and do not meet during the spring/summer semester.

Can the program be part-time?

The pre-requisite courses can be completed with part-time study. Completing the nursing program with part-time study is not encouraged; however the professional nursing courses can be part-time if co-requisite courses have been completed.

Where are the courses offered?

All of the pre-requisite courses are available on the Allendale Campus, and some are available on the PEW Campus and in the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences in Grand Rapids. The only pre-requisite course that is offered in an online format is STA 215.

Can I take the prerequisite courses at another school?

Courses can be taken at another school if they transfer to GVSU and are equivalent to the pre-requisite requirements. However, it is recommended to take as many of the pre-requisite courses as possible at GVSU. The student is responsible for forwarding official transcripts to the Registrar upon completion of additional course work from other institutions.

To verify how courses will transfer into GVSU, please use the GVSU course equivalency guide (leave the class code blank): http://www.gvsu.edu/studentapps/mtn/

How many hours of study time per week are expected for each class?

A minimum of three hours of study for each credit hour is standard. Clinical courses require three hours of clinical experience (hospital, clinic, skills labs, seminar) for one academic credit. Clinical hours are completed in 2 or 3 days per week, depending on the course. Clinical times occur during the day, evening, or at night. Weekend hours may also occur.

What clinical sites will I work at?

Many clinical sites are located in the Grand Rapids area: Spectrum Health, Metropolitan Hospital, St. Mary's Medical Center, Kent County Health Department, Ottawa County Health Department, and numerous other community agencies. You may also work at a clinical site outside of the Grand Rapids area.

What information must be submitted prior to starting the professional nursing courses?

Physical examination, successful completion of a criminal background check and drug screen through a Kirkhof College of Nursing specified provider, documentation of Rubella, Rubeola, Polio, DPT, TB immunity, Hepatitis B vaccine, proof of 2 MMR immunizations (if born after 1957)* and current annual Adult/Child/Infant CPR (for the professional rescuer) certification through the American Heart Association. Each clinical course requires a current CPR certification, annual TB test, and current proof of health insurance.                              *Titers for immunization

When will I become a Registered Nurse?

Upon successful completion of the BSN program and graduation from GVSU, a certificate of completion is submitted to the state board of nursing (SBN) verifying that the individual graduated from our program. Graduates are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam. The SBN determines if the candidate (graduate) is eligible for licensure.

What is the cost of the program?

Tuition costs for GVSU can be found on the GVSU website: GVSU Financial Aid.  An additional tuition charges of $12 per credit hour for 300 level and above NUR courses for undergraduate students only.  Books, uniforms, transportation, etc. are extra.

Do you have a Direct Admit entry?

Yes. A limited number of new freshman students are eligible for direct admission to the nursing major. Admission is based on exceptional performance in a number of academic and leadership areas.

Eligibility for Direct Admit status to the undergraduate nursing program includes:

  • New freshman student
  • Cumulative high school grade point average of 3.6 or higher
  • ACT composite score of 30 or higher
  • All of the application for admission documents, including ACT score, must be submitted to the GVSU Admissions Office by December 31 of the senior year of high school
  • Declaration of a nursing major by the end of the first week of classes during the first semester of enrollment at GVSU

Maintenance of Direct Admit status requires students to:

  • Meet with their Academic Advisor in the Office of Student Services in the Kirkhof College of Nursing during their freshman year to identify the anticipated semester of entry into the initial professional nursing course.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0, including transfer credits
  • Attain a 3.5 grade point average in the pre-requisite courses.
  • Maintain congruency with GVSU and KCON policies regarding course repeats.
  • Be aware that a change of major will result in loss of Direct Admit status
  • Complete the necessary pre-requisite courses prior to beginning the initial professional nursing course in the undergraduate nursing program

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

You can contact the Kirkhof College of Nursing at (616) 331-7160

Page last modified March 14, 2014