Questions to Ask Nursing Programs

Commonly asked questions about nursing school.

Creighton University Nursing Students

We’ve compiled a list of questions that we highly encourage you to ask of every nursing program you’re considering.

Is the program direct-entry?

Creighton is a direct-entry program. All you need to do to apply to the College of Nursing is list the college on your application for admission. If you are admitted to the College of Nursing, you have a spot in the program.

Direct-entry means that you have a seat in the nursing program when you begin college. There isn’t an additional application process after you begin college, meaning you know whether or not you’re able to study nursing at a college before you decide to enroll.

At a non-direct-entry program, you will take general education classes for a designated period of time (usually 1-3 semesters), then apply to the nursing program. This application process is competitive, and sometimes as few as 20% of the applicants gain entrance into the nursing program.

How long will it take to graduate?

At Creighton, we have a four-year traditional nursing curriculum that allows students to finish their degree in four years.

There are a number of programs (particularly non-direct-entry programs) that explicitly state that you cannot graduate in four years, even if you are admitted in the first round of applicants to the program.

Be sure you understand how long you are eligible for scholarships and financial aid. Many schools only offer 8 semesters of aid, meaning that you are left paying the full price for any remaining semesters to complete your degree. Add in that you aren’t bringing in a salary during that time as well, and the financial impact of taking an extra year to graduate can be significant.

Can I study abroad?

At some institutions, nursing students can’t study abroad due to the structure of the curriculum. However, at Creighton, our nursing students can study abroad for a full semester (and still graduate on time)! Check out the four-year nursing curriculum that includes study abroad.

What is the NCLEX pass rate?

The NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) is a nationwide exam that all nurses take after graduation. The first-time NCLEX pass rate is one way to measure how prepared nursing graduates are.

While some institutions only advertise their overall NCLEX pass rate (first-time test takers + students who need to repeat the exam), Creighton University College of Nursing tracks both its first-time test takers and overall pass rates for all of its students. Creighton’s 2019 first-time test taker pass rate for the 4-year traditional BSN nursing curriculum was 96.2%. The Creighton University College of Nursing’s overall pass rates are generally 100%.

Is a preceptorship guaranteed?

Preceptorships help transition you from clinicals to a practicing registered nurse. At Creighton, you will be paired with a bachelor’s-prepared nurse. It’s essentially reverse job shadowing: you perform the nursing duties, but with your preceptor as back-up and resource.

Our students complete 244 hours in their preceptorship, which is among the highest number of preceptorship hours of any nursing programs in the nation. We will place you in a preceptorship during your second semester senior year, so no work is needed on your behalf, and the preceptorship is guaranteed. At some other schools, a preceptorship must be found by the student themselves, and therefore, isn’t guaranteed.