Prospective Nursing Students

Nursing Criteria

Queensborough Community College's program in Nursing was established in 1967 and is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Queensborough has enjoyed a long history of graduating competent, caring nurses. The program of study is offered in both the spring and fall semesters, with an evening program available in the fall. Because we believe that nurses must be committed to ongoing education, Queensborough offers three dual/joint programs with Hunter/Bellevue School of Nursing, CUNY School of Professional Studies, and York College. Students may apply for these programs while enrolled in their first clinical course in Nursing, NU 101. These programs facilitate students moving seamlessly on for their bachelor's degree.

Criteria for Application

  • Applicants must be a matriculated student at QCC.

  • Complete the following sequence with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

    Course Credits
    EN 101 English Composition I 3
    PSYC-101 Psychology 3
    MATH-119/MATH-336 Math 3
    BI-301 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
    Pre-Clinical Credits 13

    • If you fail a course you are ineligible to apply to the Nursing Program

    • Courses in the above sequence may not be repeated.

    • Students are permitted to increase their application GPA by submitting a grade achieved in a higher level course. Students must achieve a C or better in all Biological Science courses (BI-301, 302 and 311) and Math-119/336. This substitution is allowed for one Course as follows:

      • Bio-302 for Bio-301
      • Eng-102 for Eng-101
      • PSYC-220 for PSYC-101
    • BI-301 and BI-302 (Anatomy and Physiology I and II) must be taken at the same institution.

    • Anatomy and Physiology (BI-301 and BI-302) whether taken at QCC or transferred in from another institution will not be accepted for consideration if taken more than six (6) years ago. Microbiology BI-311 must have been taken within the last five (5) years, or at the time of the clinical application to nursing.

NLN PAX-RN Pre-Admission Exam

  • Take the National League of Nursing Pre Admission RN exam (RN PAX). In order to register for the exam you must create an account with NLN Testing portal. Please register using your Office 365 Student Email only. And you must register only at the QCC campus. Exam scores from other institutions will be not be accepted. Registration End Date for the RN Exam will be 5 days prior to the test date. NLN PAX Prep is only available through the online NLN Student Store. You must create an account with NLN for access to the NLN study guide.

    On the day of your exam you must bring your username and password that you used to create your NLN Testing account. REGISTRATION END DATE for RN PAX exam will be 4 days prior to TEST DATE. SEATS ARE LIMITED.

    Fall 2018 Pax-RN Pre-Admission Exam Dates for Spring 2019 Admissions:

    • Tuesday, October 23rd at 5:30 p.m.

    • Thursday, November 8th 2018 5:30 p.m.

    • Saturday, December 1st 2018 9:30 a.m.

    Registration for all NLN PAX exam dates begin on: Monday, October 1st at 9 a.m. Please note these are all the PAX Exams for the Spring 2019 Semester. Register for the exam online

    Please note these are all the PAX Exams for the Fall 2018 Semester. * Seats are limited.
    Students may only register for One PAX exam per semester. Do not register for multiple PAX exam dates, or you will forfeit your seat. Do not register for the PAX exam until you have completed all the pre-clinical courses: BI 301, EN 101, MA 119/MA 336 and PSYC 101.
    If you have questions or concerns regarding the PAX-RN Exam call 1-800-732-8656.

    Test duration: 2 hours (expect to stay for the entire 2 hours)
    Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled exam start time
    ONLY students attending Queensborough Community College are eligible to register
    MUST have a CURRENT VALID Queensborough Community College photo ID (new Current student ID) No refunds issued for cancellation.
    You will be required to present this upon entering the Testing Center
    If you fail to meet this requirement, you will NOT be able to sit for the exam and will FORFEIT the testing fee

    The average composite score for accepted students is 110-120 with a percentile rank above 50% in each tested area (Verbal, Math and Science). Students wishing to achieve a higher PAX RN score can repeat the PAX RN after a waiting period of 3 months.
  • All required remedial course work as determined by placement tests taken when entering QCC (reading, writing, mathematics, and/or speech) must be successfully completed. Remedial sequences for individual placement will be determined by academic advisors in the Basic Skills, Mathematics, and/or Speech department.

  • Complete the Speech Placement Test. Speech evaluation is required of all entering QCC students. Speech 007 may be recommended.

  • Applicants interested in the Evening Program must complete all the biological sciences (BI-301, 302, 311) before entering NU-101 and are encouraged to complete additional core requirements.

  • Meet the following Essential Competencies: Communication Skills, Interpersonal Skills, Critical Thinking, Motor Skills, Sensory Skills, Mobility, Good Moral Character as outlined at the bottom of the page.


  • Provide documentation in one of the following categories:

    • U.S. Citizenship (a passport or birth certificate will suffice);

    • Permanent Residency;

    • International Student with F1 Status;

    • Granted Asylum, Refugee Status, Temporary Protected Status, Withholding of Removal, Deferred Enforced Departure, or Deferred Action Status by the U.S. government.

All undocumented students who are interested in nursing are strongly urged to contact the CUNY Citizenship and Immigration Project which will provide free counseling and assistance to all CUNY students who need help with their immigration status. Students may also visit the QCC Office of International Students & Center for Immigration, Room L-431 in the Library, telephone 718-631-6611.

  • The Evening Program is only offered in the fall semester. Application forms for the Clinical Program are available in the Nursing Department office, Medical Arts Building, M-302. Consult the nursing website regularly during the semester to check application filing dates. The application form should be completed the semester prior to starting NU-101.

  • If you have previously made an application and have not been accepted or were unable to accept your seat, you can reapply for the next semester.

Optional - Preparation for the PAX Exam

New Nursing Pre-Admission (NLN PAX) Exam Prep

This prep course prepares the student for the National League for Nursing Pre-Admission Examination(NLN PAX), a standardized entrance exam for potential nursing students who seek admittance into Nursing Schools. The following three main areas of the PAX Exam are covered: Verbal Skills, which consists of both word knowledge and reading comprehension; Mathematics, which includes basic calculations and word problems; and Science, which reviews general biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science.

NLN PAX Prep is only available through the online NLN Student Store. You must create an account with NLN for access to the NLN study guide. If you have any questions please contact NLN at 800-732-8656.

Special Requirements

  • Students must update their health status records each semester to meet hospital requirements. Updated health status clearance must be presented to the instructor on the first day of clinical or the student will not be permitted in the clinical area.

  • Proof of current BCLS Certification for Health Care Professionals is required of all students by the first clinical day of each semester. It is the responsibility of the student to keep his/her certification current.

  • All entering clinical students will be required to complete drug and alcohol screenings and background checks, in accordance with the clinical agency's policies.

    If the student receives a negative incident finding from a criminal background check result or drug or alcohol screening, the student must resolve that issue before the start of the clinical practice experience. This may require that the student withdraw or not be permitted to register for the course for the semester until the issue is satisfactorily resolved. There are NO alternative clinical placements.

    Please note that if a student is not permitted to take part in a clinical practice experience required by the program based on the results of a criminal background check or drug or alcohol screening, the student may be unable to complete the course requirements. It is important for a student to consider this before enrolling in the Nursing program.

Criteria for Admission

Admission to the nursing clinical program is competitive. Results on the RN PAX will be reviewed in combination with the student's GPA and overall academic record.

Potential NU-101 students will be identified based on this criteria and the completion of all other admission requirements.

The final acceptance of qualified applicants will be decided after assessment of each candidate's ability to communicate. Communication readiness for safe clinical nursing will be determined by Nursing Program faculty in collaboration with the Speech Communication and Theatre Arts Faculty.

Transfer Students

Transfer students from other institutions must be in good standing. Students who are on academic probation, have been dismissed from a nursing program at a previous school or attended a previous nursing program are not eligible for admission to the Clinical Program. No transfer credit will be given for nursing courses taken at another institution. All nursing courses must be completed at QCC. All Transfer students are responsible for completing a transfer credit evaluation by the Admissions Department. Transfer students seeking entrance can be advised by the Health Related Sciences Academy during regularly scheduled advisement sessions. Consult the Health Academy for further information at (718) 281-5139.

Advanced Standing

Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN's) currently matriculated at Queensborough Community College and who have been accepted to the Clinical Program may attain advanced standing into NU-102 by successfully completing the following examinations:

  • The NACE 1 PN to RN: Foundation of Nursing, mobility examination. This exam may only be taken once (refer to
  • Pass and meet a practicum which is given at the college by a member of the QCC Nursing faculty.

Students who have a current L.P.N. license and believe they qualify to take these examinations should contact the Nursing Department (Medical Arts Building, Room M-302).

CUNY Statement: Notice to Students on Criminal Background Checks

Current laws generally permit a state licensing board or agency to deny a license to practice nursing if the applicant has been convicted of a felony or other specified crime. Like many state licensing boards, the Office of the Professions of the New York State Education Department requires that a criminal background be reported and investigated prior to granting a license to practice nursing.

The Queensborough Nursing Program requires a criminal background check for admittance. All clinical students will be required to have a criminal background check completed prior to the start of the initial clinical practice experience. The cost for this clinical requirement is the student responsibility.

A student may also have to complete more than one criminal background check during the course of the Nursing program at Queensborough Community College, depending on the number of sites where you are placed and the requirements of each site.

If the student receives a negative incident finding from a criminal background check result, the student must resolve that issue before the start of the clinical practice experience. This may require that the student withdraw or not be permitted to register for the course for the semester until the issue is satisfactorily resolved. There are NO alternative clinical placements.

Please note that if a student is not permitted to take part in a clinical practice experience required by the program based on the results of a criminal background check, the student may be unable to complete the course requirements. It is important for a student to consider this before enrolling in the Nursing program. Queensborough Community College has no obligation to refund your tuition or fees or to otherwise accommodate you in the event you are ineligible to complete your course requirements based on the results of a criminal background check, or if you are denied a license to practice nursing.

Criteria for Retention / Progression

  • A passing final grade in each of the two components of the clinical nursing courses (NU-101, NU-102, NU-201, and NU-202) is necessary to progress to the next nursing course. These two components are:
    Clinical/Laboratory: a passing grade is needed in each of the following: clinical performance, math skills, written assignments and critical elements.
    Theory/Lecture- A student must successfully pass the course examinations with a final average grade of 74% or above to pass the course. (See course manuals for details of examinations).
  • Student must achieve a G.P.A. of 2.0 or above to progress to the next nursing course and be eligible for graduation.
  • Two (2) Writing Intensive courses are required for the Associated Degree. Both NU-201 and NU-204 are writing intensive courses and meet the criteria for graduation.
  • A grade of C or better in all Biology courses is required for progression and graduation.
  • A grade of C or higher in BI-302 is a prerequisite for NU-102.
  • A grade of C or higher in BI-311 is a prerequisite for NU-201.
  • Students may repeat BI-302 and BI-311 in order to obtain a C or better but may not progress until a C is achieved.
  • Failure of a "Critical Element Test" in any clinical course, after three attempts, constitutes a clinical failure for the course, and the student will not be allowed to return to the clinical area.

Repeat Policy

  • Students may repeat only one nursing course (NU-101, NU102, NU-201 or NU-202) in the Clinical Program, one time only, on a space available basis. This includes students who withdrew from a course after the first day for any reason and students who completed the course with a grade below C. However, a repeat of NU-101 will require an approval from the Nursing Department Appeals Committee.
  • Any student who withdraws from a nursing course must notify the lecture instructor and complete an Intention to Repeat Form if he/she is eligible to register again for the course. (Intention to Repeat Forms are located in the Medical Arts Building, M-302).

Essential Competencies for Safe Clinical Practice

**Required for Applicants to the Nursing Program and Nursing Student Participation in the Clinical Setting.

The practice of nursing requires performance of certain physical and mental competencies. All candidates for, as well as student in the nursing program, must be able to successfully demonstrated the ability to meet these essential competencies.

Essential Competencies for Safe Clinical Practice table
Essential Competencies Requirements Examples/Outcomes
Communication Skills

Demonstrates the ability to use verbal and written English to communicate accurately and effectively with all individuals, sufficient to provide safe and effective patient care.

Serve as communication liaison between patients and other medical personnel.
Clarify orders from health care providers, delegate tasks to support staff, and initiate interventions and health teaching.
Clearly convey patient needs, nursing care and patient outcomes.
Document in a manner that is coherent and legible.

Critical Thinking

Utilize appropriate judgment. Demonstrates ability to calculate measure and analyze.Incorporate previous knowledge from a wide range of subject areas into current practice.

Able to correlate theory to clinical practice.
Able to prioritize.
Identify cause and effect relationships in clinical settings.

Good Moral Character • No felony or misdemeanor charges or convictions in any state or county.
• No disciplinary actions against the candidate/student.
• No substance abuse

Some clinical facilities require background checks and fingerprinting. Some clinical facilities require drug and alcohol screening.
Students unable to successfully comply with these requirements may be unable to continue in the program.

Interpersonal Skills

Recognize and respect all people and their individual differences.Perform effectively under stress sufficient to maintain accountability and responsibility. Display flexibility and demonstrate compassion for all.

Establish professional rapport with all individuals and develop effective relationships.
React professionally to emotional situations.
Adjust positively to changing environments.
Negotiate conflicts.

Mobility Possess physical mobility necessary and sufficient to stand, walk, sit, bend, squat reach and lift in order to provide safe and effective care.

Able to move in and around patient care and treatment areas.
Able to administer nursing care and perform emergency and non-emergency procedures.
Able to lift, position and transfer patients.

Motor Skills Possess gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective patient care.

Can perform techniques essential for patient care, including but not limited to: insertion of tubes; preparation and administration of injections; operation, calibration and manipulation of equipment.

Sensory Skills

Possess auditory, visual and tactile abilities sufficient to assess and monitor health status, provide safe and effective patient care and ensure a safe environment.

Demonstrate capability for observation (seeing), palpitation (feeling), percussion (tapping), and auscultation (listening).
Able to respond to alarms and signals.
Can communicate effectively via voice or telephone.

Prepared by: Curriculum Committee Sp ‘07

National Patient Safety Goals:

**The student is responsible for knowledge of "The Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals" related to semester course content.

Patient Privacy:

**Students are responsible for adhering to the HIPPA privacy laws related to patient care information in all clinical circumstances.

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center (KHC)Opens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

Using the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art GalleryOpens in a new window
QCC Art GalleryOpens in a new window

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.