• Complete application for admission.

It is important to indicate whether you are applying for pre-nursing, practical nursing (PN) or the associate degree nursing (RN) program. Indicate the semester and year you plan to enter the nursing program. For example, pre-nursing fall 2014, practical nursing (PN) fall 2015, and associate degree nursing (RN) fall 2016.  The date of formal application will be factored in if two or more applicants tie for the same rank.

  • Complete all testing requirements.

ACT or COMPASS test (see "Entrance Requirements" links below for required scores for the year you plan to enter the program).  For the nursing program, ACT or COMPASS test scores will be good for three years from the date the test is taken.

  • ACT Composite Score = 20 or above or
  • COMPASS Writing = 70 or above
  • COMPASS Reading = 83 or above
  • COMPASS Pre-Algebra = 51 or above

The three sections of the COMPASS test can be taken individually or as a group. Preparing for this test is extremely important to all students, but especially for prospective students who have limited reading, writing, or math skills.  Scheduling the test when you are able to perform well is key, as the test impacts your ability to gain admission to the PN or RN program.  Each section of the test may be taken only three times.

View sample COMPASS questions.

If your scores are below the minimum required, you must follow our retest policy.  The COMPASS test may be scheduled with Southwestern's Assessment Center at 641.782.1320.

  • Your status in the program will be determined based on the following:

LPN Entrance Requirements - 2014-15

ADN Entrance Requirements - 2014-15

NOTE:  Completion of pre-nursing courses allows the student to accumulate points used to rank the student for admission into his/her PN or RN year.  Completion of anatomy & physiology II and microbiology enhances the likelihood of early RN admission.  See pre-nursing option.

  • Official and final high school transcripts.
    Students not completing high school should send a transcript of their equivalency (GED) scores.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  • Deposit of $50 for all conditionally accepted applicants.

PN and RN Nursing Program Requirement

Physician's physical examination report, dental report, TB skin test, and current immunizations as recommended by the student's physician to be completed in late June, July, or August prior to fall admission.

American Heart Association Health Care Provider CPR is required for all nursing students before entering clinical.  Only American Heart Association Health Care provider CPR is accepted.  Only face-to-face classes are accepted.  Student must make their own arrangements to obtain certification.  The SWCC Adult Education Department offers courses at intervals. 

Second Year Requirements

  1. All Admissions procedures and requirements listed above.
  2. Must have completed (C or above) the following classes:  composition I, introduction to psychology, developmental psychology, introduction to sociology, and anatomy & physiology.
  3. Submit a copy of current Iowa Practical Nursing License. (New graduates must have current Iowa license prior to October 15, following graduation).

Re-Entry Requirements

To be considered for re-entry into nursing education, a student must meet current admission guidelines and additional re-entry requirements described in the current nursing student handbook.  Re-entry guidelines from the nursing student handbook are available upon request from the nursing chair and/or the admissions coordinator.