Nursing (Professional) - PTE RN Program

FAQ - Nursing (Professional) - PTE RN Program

Nursing (Professional) - PTE RN Program

Is your nursing program accredited?

On Tuesday (Aug. 6, 2013), the College of Western Idaho (CWI) Nursing program announced it has been approved for initial accreditation with the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly the National League for Nursing Accreditation (NLNAC). The ACEN Board of Commissioners recommended initial accreditation for the program following a site review completed in late January.

“This national accreditation signifies the quality of CWI’s nursing program. Students’ graduating from the program and successfully passing NCLEX exam will be able to transfer on to bachelor and graduate nursing programs and receive preferential employability with healthcare organizations,” said Cathleen Currie, CWI Assistant Dean for Health and Human Services. “Garnering accreditation for our nursing programs involves virtually every area of our college from our One Stop Student Services team who help students through the enrollment process, to the faculty in our academic areas building the foundational skills, to the nursing instructors who provide exceptional hands-on learning opportunities for our students to succeed.”

Until now, the CWI Nursing program was considered a candidate for national accreditation. Approval of initial accreditation was awarded following a rigorous review process of CWI’s self-study report, the College catalog, curriculum review, a site visitor’s report, a recommendation by the Program Evaluators and Evaluation Review Panel. The new designation provides the program a five-year period to further develop areas of emphasis as identified by the Board of Commissioners, with an evaluation visit scheduled for spring 2018. The ACEN is responsible for the specialized accreditation of a wide variety of nursing education programs, including clinical doctorate, master’s, bachelor’s, associate, diploma, and practical programs.

“Our nursing program has been producing exceptional students with highly desirable skills,” notes CWI President Bert Glandon. “We are thrilled to have received confirmation from the ACEN for initial accreditation status and look forward to continuing to serve our community with affordable, quality educational offerings that support a strong workforce in the healthcare sector.”  

Also see our Nursing page for more details.

How many students are accepted each year into the Associate of Nursing program?

The top 40 scores, as determined using the published admission ranking criteria, will be accepted into the program. Several applicants, according to their scores, will also be notified that they are on an ‘Alternate List’ should any of the accepted students decline admittance to the program.

Please consider attending a Healthcare Information Session at least one year prior to application.  They are offered twice a month (Ada Campus and Canyon County Campus).  By attending a Healthcare Information Session early in the process, you will be well aware of all the requirements and can make alternate plans to coursework if needed. 

Do we need to take the TEAS test prior to acceptance?

Yes - the successful completion and corresponding score on a TEAS test will be an important part of the application process moving forward. Information is on-line at: You will always want to study for and complete the most current available TEAS assessment as there may be a few assessments to choose from. TEAS scores are good up to five years. When you apply to the AS in Nursing program, you will need to include a copy of your best TEAS score to date.  For more information on how we score applications, please see our AS in Nursing Information Sheet located on the left-hand side of the page under "Resources."

You can take the TEAS assessment at any of CWI’s Compass Testing Centers or through a proctoring facility such as Pearson View
For more information on assessment services or to schedule a test please contact the Assessment Center at 208.562.2542, 208.562.3267 or email

Is there a wait list to get into program?

We accept new applications every spring for fall admission. There is no waiting list. Students who wish to be considered for application must reapply each year by resubmitting an application. Previously submitted applications will not be available to students who want to reapply. It is recommended that applicants keep personal copies of all the submitted documentation for the application process.

It has been years since I completed most of my college courses - what specific courses would you suggest I take?

If you are uncertain of course materials, you can choose to take any or all prerequisites over. Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology are all helpful along with Psychology, Math, and English skills.

It has been 15+ years since I was in college. Will everything transfer?

Many courses from accredited programs/colleges will transfer. In order to be sure of the transferring coursework, you will want to apply to CWI online, pay the $25.00 Application Fee and submit your official transcripts directly from each college/university to One Stop Student Services, MS 1000, P.O. Box 3010, Nampa, ID 83653. CWI will then evaluate your transcripts and send you a Transcript Evaluation Report by mail. The Transcript Evaluation Report your key to knowing which courses transferred to CWI!

Can I obtain additional points on the application for current medical certifications?

Yes - you can obtain additional points on the application for specific and current medical certifications.  Please refer to the AS in Nursing Information Sheet on the left-hand side of the page under "Resources" for an overview of how applications are scored. 

To calculate your application points, you must use the certificate with the highest points. Ex: If you have a CMA and an EMT certification, you will score a “2” not a “3."

  • Current Certificate in CNA or EMT = 1
  • Current Certificate in CMA or Paramedic = 2
  • Current (unencumbered) LPN License = 3 3.0
What if my only medical experience is dealing with an ill family member?

Caring for ill family members is considered as experience but must be documented on a Healthcare Verification Form with the signature of the attending physician and/or nurse.

What kind of medical experience do you prefer?

All types of health care experiences are encouraged, with an emphasis on direct patient care. If you are not sure whether or not your healthcare experience will fulfill this requirement, it may be worth your while to submit the completed Healthcare Verification Form, with your application, which will allow evaluators to either allow 1 point for the experience or not.

Can I transfer into a BSN program?

Nursing courses from associate degree programs do not usually transfer directly into BSN programs. However, once you have acquired the Registered Nurse license, there are multiple RN to BSN completion programs available to you. BSU has an online RN-BSN program, as well as an on-campus in-person RN-BSN program, for associate degree nursing graduates.

Does it matter whether I have Math 123 or Math 143 when I apply to the AS Nursing Program?

Applicants will receive the same amount of points on the application for either course. However, it is recommended, for the student’s benefit, and future coursework, that you complete Math 143 which may very well be a prerequisite for upper level coursework.

What prerequisites do I need before applying to the Associate of Science in Nursing Program?

(Please see the Associate of Science in Nursing Grid for further details) Math 123 or 143 or higher GE Math Course, Documentation of computer literacy by a satisfactory score on Computer Skills Assessment (CSA) or CISA 101 Computer Literacy Skill Development- CWI Catalog.  Also, please reference the AS in Nursing Information Sheet located under "Resources" on the left-hand side of the nursing website for step-by-step instructions on how to apply to the program and see how the applications are scored. 

Once accepted into the AS in Nursing Program what kind of grades do I need to maintain to pass?

At the very least, you will need a "C" or better in every course, and a "Pass" in every clinical/lab experience to progress to the next semester.

Did the LPN to AS in Nursing Bridge (3 semester) program merge with the AS in Nursing (4 semester) program?

Effective fall 2014, new College of Western Idaho (CWI) students with Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) status will enter the CWI Nursing program in a synergistic cohort model covering four semesters. This model will improve collaboration and support in covering the rigorous curriculum – benefiting all nursing students.

Previously, new LPN students did not attend the first semester of the program which led to challenges in adjusting to the academic setting and connecting with fellow students who were entering the second semester.

“We believe that this change will ultimately help students succeed in an inclusive learning environment,” notes CWI Nursing Program Chair Allison Baker. “Our goal is to provide nursing students with the best in education while at CWI so that they are successful in their nursing career.”