Nursing – Apply

Apply to Nursing School

There are three general steps in applying to nursing programs: the primary application, the secondary application, and the interview.

1.  Primary applications must be filed with the Nursing Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS), which is a centralized application system that opens in late August. We strongly recommend reading the instructions before beginning. The application includes: reference forms, applicant information, education, professional experience, a personal statement, and programs you are applying to. Once the application is complete, NursingCAS forwards it to whichever schools the student has designated. The NursingCAS application fee is about $50 for the first undergraduate program and $35 for each additional undergraduate program designation. As for the graduate programs it is a fee is about $70 for the first program and $40 for each additional undergraduate program designation.

2.  Secondary applications are specific to individual schools, and are sent to applicants after receiving the NursingCAS application. Some schools screen applicants before requesting secondary applications. Secondary applications commonly request additional information, essays, letters of recommendation, and/or fees. Some schools may also require you to take CASPer. For a list of schools and programs that participate in CASPer, click here.

CASPer (Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) is an online situational judgement test that assesses collaboration, communication, empathy, equity, ethics, motivation, problem solving, and professionalism. More information, test dates, and a list of schools and programs that require CASPer can be found here.

Test Breakdown: CASPer takes approximately 90 minutes to complete, including an optional 15 minute break halfway through. There are 12 scenarios: 8 video-based and 4 text-based, each followed by 3 open-ended questions.

Scoring: Each scenario will be scored by a unique scorer. Schools will receive a cumulative z-score based on the scores of the 12 unique scorers. Applicants will not see their scores.

Cost: CASPer costs $10 as a base fee and an additional $10 per school.

Note: Not all nursing schools participate in NursingCAS. Students interested in applying to other schools must complete each of their prospective schools’ individual applications. For these schools, the application process consist only of steps 2 and 3.

3.  Interviews: After reviewing the primary and secondary applications (or supplementary forms), a few nursing schools invite promising applicants to interview. Applicants are responsible for all costs incurred while interviewing, including airfare, lodging, ground transportation, professional attire, and meals. To learn more about interviews, attend our upcoming interview-related orientations and workshops here. For sample interview questions click here.

Background Check: Prior to official acceptance, schools usually contact a background check on accepted students. Thus, please ensure that you conduct yourself professionally at all times. A record of misconduct may result in the residence of acceptance by schools.


  • The more you know about the school, the better your chances of being accepted.
  • Most application questions can be answered by reading the instructions found on the NursingCAS website.
  • Contact individual schools’ admissions offices to find out how they handle:
    • Advanced Placement (AP) credits
    • International Baccalaureate (IB) credits
    • College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) credits
    • military credits
    • courses taken at a community college
    • non-U.S. coursework
    • courses taken for credit/no credit instead of a grade
    • residency issues
    • time limits on prerequisite science courses

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Financial Planning is a crucial step in applying to nursing programs. It is important for students to create a plan and make decisions in their educational expenses. Students are highly encouraged to budget their finances before, during, and after a nursing program. To learn more about financial planning, click here.

FAFSA: All students are encouraged to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Through this information, students are eligible to apply for grants, work study, and loans to help fund the cost of undergraduate, graduate and professional school education. FAFSA opens on October 1st.

Note: To be considered for this financial aid, you must apply the year prior to matriculation even if you do not know if you were accepted into graduate or professional school yet.

Western Regional Graduate Program: Hawai`i residents are eligible to participate in the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), a service of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). WRGP enables qualified residents from WICHE participating states affordable access to enroll in selected out of state master’s, graduate certificate and Ph.D programs at participating WICHE institutions. WRGP selected students pay the resident tuition rate at the WICHE participating institution. No payments are made directly to students.To be considered for the WRGP resident tuition rate, apply directly to the department or graduate studies department of the institution where you want to enroll, and identify yourself as WICHE WRGP applicant. WRGP students must fulfill the usual admission requirements and deadlines of the department and institution concerned. Contact each school you are interested in for more information. To view a list of schools that may be participating, click here.For more information on the Hawai’i WICHE WRGP program, please visit

Military Financial Aid: For more information, click here

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