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Traditional Nursing Option (TNO)

Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Traditional Nursing Option (TNO) is a four year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.  Students complete general studies and prerequisite courses in the freshman and sophomore year before applying to the TNO.  Students accepted into the TNO complete nursing courses in the junior and senior year.  Graduates are eligible to apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Admission Requirements for Traditional Nursing Option
To be eligible to apply to the Traditional Nursing Option applicants must:

  • have completed General Studies courses required of BSN degree at MSU Denver. Or have a maximum of 6 credits remaining to be completed. The remaining credits can only be in following General Studies categories: Social and Behavioral Sciences I, Arts and Humanities, or Historical to begin the TNO in the spring. Students also need to complete the required Global Diversity and Multicultural courses.
  • have completed all pre-requisite courses for the Nursing program. If a Nursing program prerequisite course is in progress at time of application, a letter from the course faculty with the current grade in the course must be sent to the MSU Denver Nursing Department between October 1 and October 15. GPA will be calculated with the current grade in the course and if offered admission, the grade must be maintained throughout the course to be eligible for admission. The Nursing Department will require a transcript showing the final grade in the prerequisite course before nursing courses begin in January.
  • have completed the HESI Nursing Admission Assessment Exam (HESI A2) within 24 months of the application deadline. Applicants are allowed to take the exam a maximum of two times in the 12 months prior to the application deadline. The HESI Exam will be available on campus through the Office of Testing Centers after June 1, 2019.  Appointments will need to be made at least two weeks in advance.  The cost is $75. The subject areas tested are Reading Comprehension and Math and Anatomy & Physiology.
  • have transcript documentation of successful completion of prerequisite courses regardless of a previously earned academic degree.

Applications that are submitted with any of the above criteria missing by the application deadline will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required documentation is submitted.  Meeting the admission requirements does not guarantee admission.

Multicultural Course
To be awarded a bachelor’s degree from MSU Denver all students are required to complete a 3 credit Multicultural course.  This course may be taken at MSU Denver or transferred with approval.

Global Diversity Course
To be awarded a bachelor’s degree from MSU Denver all students are required to complete a 3 credit Global Diversity course.  This course may be taken at MSU Denver or transferred with approval.

Application to Metropolitan State University of Denver
Interested students must first be accepted to the University. This requires an online application and official transcripts of all previous college level courses including AP scores. This material is sent to the Admission Office at MSU Denver- NOT to the Nursing Department. Once accepted to MSU, student then must apply to the Nursing Program.

Application to MSU Denver Nursing Program
Once accepted at MSU, students need to apply online through the Nursing Department website at The application requires uploading the HESI testing scores, and reporting all previous grades for the 7 pre-requisite courses. There is no charge for the Nursing Program application. The Application opens July 1st and closes on September 1st at 5:00 pm. No applications will be accepted after the deadline.

TNO Admission Ranking Criteria
The Nursing program is very competitive. For the TNO, a cohort of 24 students are selected from all of the qualified applicants. Selection is based on the applicants' prerequisite GPA, average cumulative HESI score, and credits taken at MSU Denver.

MSU Denver Required Prerequisite Courses for the TNO
We recommend all prerequisite courses be completed within 5-7 years to enhance student success in the program.

  • BIO 2310: Anatomy and Physiology I with lab* (4 credits) - This is the first of two courses addressing the structure and function of the human body.  Topics include tissues, anatomy, the musculoskeletal system, and neurophysiology. 
  • BIO 2320: Anatomy and Physiology II with lab* (4 credits) - This is the second of two courses addressing the structure and function of the human body.  Topics include endocrinology; circulation; and the respiratory, digestive, urinary and reproductive systems. 
  • ITP 4600: Clinical Pathophysiology (4 credits) - This course is designed to familiarize the student with the nature of human pathophysiology using major conceptual areas.  Pertinent biochemical and metabolic derangements are correlated with the cellular structure by applying systems theory.  The course focuses on the effects of the disease process on all of the major bodily systems, pathogenesis, and related clinical manifestations.
  • BIO 2400: General Microbiology with lab* (5 credits) - This is a one-semester introduction to the microbial world, including discussions of bacteria, Cyanobacteria, fungi, protozoans and viruses.
    BIO 290A: Intro to Microbiology for Nursing* (4 credits) - This course is a non-majors introductory microbiology course specifically for pre-nursing.  It will not count toward a biology major or minor.  This course emphasizes the interplay between microorganisms and humans including infectious diseases and the immune system and has an emphasis on the control of microbial growth, spread of microorganisms, and their ability to cause disease and circumvent the immune system and antimicrobials.
  • MTH 1210: Introductory Statistics Course (4 credits) - One of the following courses are acceptable:
    Mathematics - This course is an introduction to the principles and techniques of descriptive statistics, probability, regression analysis, and statistical inference (estimation and tests of hypotheses).  Students will work with data on problems related to their own interest or field of study.
    Psychology (Introduction to Statistics for Social and Behavioral Sciences) - This course applies basic statistics to measurement, analysis, and interpretation in psychology as well as other social and behavioral sciences covering distributions, probability, central tendency, variability, sampling distributions, and hypothesis testing.
  • PSY 2210: Human Growth and Development** (3 credits) - This course presents the development of behavior from conception through maturity and death and is intended to help the student understand the developmental characteristics of different age groups and the determinants of their individual and collective behaviors.
  • NUT 2040: Introduction to Nutrition (3 credits) - This course is designed to provide the student with an understanding of the fundamental concepts of human nutrition, including digestion, absorption, metabolism, and function of nutrients as they relate to human health and disease.

          * MSU Denver Biology department will not accept online lab courses.
          **Often referred to as Psychology over the Lifespan.

Note:  In some cases, additional courses may need to be taken prior to the required prerequisite courses to apply to the TNO.  Reference the online university catalog for further information.    

Transfer courses
It is the student’s responsibility to verify the equivalence of any transfer course brought into the University. If a course has not been evaluated to be equivalent to the required prerequisite, students must submit a syllabus of the course to the Nursing Department for approval. Do NOT assume courses are the same. Contact MSU Denver Transfer Services Office at 303∙556∙3774 for questions.

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)             
The College Level Examination Program (CLEP) consists of a series of national standardized examinations. They are designed to evaluate non-accredited college-level learning in order to award credit for successful demonstration of this knowledge. Credit earned will be entered on the student’s transcript with the title of the examination(s) and without reference to any specific MSU Denver course(s). CLEP examinations are recorded without reference to a letter grade and are not figured into the student’s GPA. Credit earned through CLEP examinations does not count toward residency credit requirements and therefore may not be awarded as part of the last 12 credit hours applicable to a degree. Please reference the Metropolitan State University of Denver University Catalog for details of the CLEP guidelines and policy.

International Transcripts/Credentials
Students who have graduated from an institution outside of the U.S. are required to submit Official Transcripts with a “certified translation” into English.  The Office of Admissions at MSU Denver recommends Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE) for official translations ( Please reference the MSU Denver guidelines for admission of International Students and/or the transfer of foreign credentials.

Upon Acceptance
Applicants must successfully pass a criminal background check and drug screen prior to admission.  The drug screen will test for controlled substances, including marijuana and marijuana derivatives.  Re-testing is not allowed.  Admitted students must attend a required orientation with the Department of Nursing before beginning nursing courses. In addition to academic requirements, MSU Denver Department of Nursing requires other information for students offered admission including immunization records, and CPR certification. Candidates must be able to meet the rigorous physical, mental, emotional, and academic standards required to become a professional nurse. The admission process does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of age, race, religion, creed, gender, national origin, disability or veteran status.

Nursing Curriculum
The curriculum for the TNO is extremely rigorous and completed in two academic years. Students are admitted in the spring and complete the nursing curriculum in four standard academic semesters. Students are required to attend classes, complete laboratory experiences and fulfill clinical requirements.  Students must be available for day, evening, and night assignments seven days a week.

Program Cost
The estimated cost of the TNO is approximately $43,000, which includes tuition, MSU Denver student fees, health insurance, uniforms, books, and supplies.  Please note that program costs are subject to change.  This is a cash funded program and receives no state funding, so the cost is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.

Financial Aid / Scholarships
Scholarships, stipends, and loan forgiveness programs may be available to help students with their educational expenses. Students may apply for scholarships after they have been accepted into the TNO through the MSU Denver Financial Aid Office.

To earn a Bachelor of Science degree, students must satisfy all university graduation requirements, plus any others stipulated for the degree for which a student is a candidate. Please refer to the Academic Policies and Procedures in the Metropolitan State University of Denver catalog.


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