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ABSN Admission

Admission to the Drake University Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program is based on academic and personal qualifications that are necessary for successful, competent practice as a nurse. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of the fit between their personal goals and the mission and goals of the ABSN program.  Prior education, work experience, honors, awards, service to others, and leadership activities are also considered in the admission process. Prior shadowing in a nursing environment is helpful, but not required.

  • High School Students: Are you a high school student looking for pre-nursing admission? Visit our pre-nursing admission page.
  • Students who are currently enrolled in pre-nursing at Drake should refer to the Drake Direct ABSN requirements for more information.
  • Transfer Students: If you are interested in the Health Sciences/ABSN dual degree program, visit our pre-nursing admission page.  If you are planning to apply directly to our 12-month ABSN program, scroll down for admission requirements.
  • International students: for more information about requirements for international applicants, visit our international student admission page.

No admission exam required!

Students may apply to our ABSN program by meeting the following requirements.  Please note that these are the requirements applicants must meet in order for their applications to be considered complete.  Meeting these requirements does not guarantee admission to the ABSN program. 

  • Submit an application through the Centralized Application for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS).
  • Complete the required Drake-specific questions within the NursingCAS application.
  • Request official transcripts from all colleges you have attended to be sent to NursingCAS.
  • Complete at least 70 credit hours of undergraduate coursework.
  • No minimum GPA is required, although 3.0 (as calculated in NursingCAS) is considered competitive.
  • Complete (or be in the process of completing) the prerequisite coursework outlined in the table below.  All required courses must be completed by the end of the summer term prior to entering the ABSN program.
Subject Courses/Credit Hours Drake Courses

Anatomy and Physiology
A complete year course sequence in anatomy (one semester) and physiology (one semester) is required.  Students may take a combined anatomy/physiology sequence, but they must take both semesters in order to fulfill the requirement.  Labs are required.

2 courses/8 credit hours (including labs) HSCI 125/L and 141/L (PHAR 125 may replace HSCI 125); or BIO 018/L and 129

Microbiology
A one-semester course in microbiology is required.  A course intended for health care majors is recommended.  A lab is required.

1 course/4 credit hours (including lab) BIO 103/L

General (Inorganic) Chemistry
A one-semester course in general (inorganic) chemistry is required.  A lab is required.

1 course/4 credit hours (including lab) CHEM 001 and 003, or 002 and 004

General Psychology
A one-semester introductory course in psychology is required.  This course must fulfill the prerequisite requirements for developmental psychology.  A lab is not required.

1 course/3 credit hours PSY 001 (4 credit hours)

Developmental Psychology
Requirement for students entering the ABSN program in Fall 2025 and later.
  A one-semester course in human development across the lifespan is required.  Students may take a combined course sequence in child and adolescent development and adult development and aging, but they must take both courses in order to fulfill the requirement.  A lab is not required.

1 course/3 credit hours HSCI 146 or the combined PSY 042 and 044 sequence together.

Ethics or Sociology
A one-semester course in ethics or sociology is required.  Students may submit non-traditional ethics or sociology courses for syllabus review.

1 course/3 credit hours SOC 001 or Values and Ethics AOI

Nutrition
A one-semester course in nutrition is required.  A course intended for health care majors is recommended.  A lab is not required.

1 course/2 credit hours BIO 032 or PHAR 126

Statistics
A one-semester course in general statistics is required.  Business statistics, psychology statistics, or biological science statistics courses are accepted.

1 course/3 credit hours STAT 060, 071, or HSCI 060

Writing
A one-semester course in college-level English writing or composition is required.  Students may submit discipline-specific writing courses for syllabus review.

1 course/3 credit hours FYS or Written Communication AOI
General Electives
40 semester credit hours in general electives are required; Drake requires students to complete a minimum of 70 credit hours of undergraduate coursework. Note: students completing developmental psychology need 37 credit hours of general electives.
40 credit hours Drake Curriculum Areas of Inquiry

Students must earn a grade of C or higher in order to fulfill prerequisite courses.  Students who wish to fulfill prerequisites using Advanced Placement (AP) scores must earn a 4 or higher on the AP exam.  Students may transfer in a cumulative maximum of 66 credit hours from all 2-year institutions they have attended.  Please see Drake University's Transfer Credit Information page or contact the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at (515) 271-3018 for more information. 

Drake University's Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program operates on a rolling admission process.  We will interview and admit students until the class is full and a sufficient number of applicants have been identified for the wait list.  We recommend submitting application materials early in order to ensure your application is processed and considered in a timely manner.


Tuition and Fees

Official tuition and fees are set on an annual basis by the Drake University Office of Finance and Administration, approved by the Board of Trustees and administered through the Office of Student Accounts.  Information regarding tuition and fees for the current academic year in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program can be found on the Financial Aid Office website.  Here, you will also find additional resources and other opportunities for financial assistance.


Technical Standards for the ABSN Program

Please view our Technical Standards for the ABSN Program

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