FAQs - Nursing Department | Briar Cliff University

Nursing FAQs

Q:Do I qualify for financial aid?

A: U.S. Citizens and eligible noncitizens are eligible to apply for Federal Financial Aid through BCU. Degree-seeking students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This one application completes applications for the Iowa Tuition Grant and Federal Direct loan funds as well.

Q: What nursing programs does Briar Cliff University offer?

A: Briar Cliff University is the first college in the area to offer nursing degrees from a bachelor’s all the way up to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

In addition to a Bachelor's in Nursing (BSN), at Briar Cliff University we also have MSN Nurse Practitioner (with specializations as a Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner), Post-Graduate Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioner (APRN), and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

Prelicensure - Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) 

Q: Do I need to be certified as a Nursing Assistant (CAN) to be accepted into the nursing program?

A: No, it is not a requirement. However, many students find it beneficial to obtain their certification and work as a CAN throughout nursing school.

Q: When can I apply to the Nursing major?

A: Current Briar Cliff University students apply in the spring semester of their sophomore year if they have met all the application criteria. If you are interested in transferring to BCU, you can contact the Prelicensure Nursing Program Director, Nursing Department Chair, or Nursing Administrative Assistant to obtain an application.

Q: Can I transfer in nursing courses?

A: No, we do not accept nursing courses completed at another school, but please contact the Department Chair or Pre-Licensure Nursing Program Director for further information.

Q: How can I see if courses I took at another college will transfer to Briar Cliff University?

A: If you send your transcript(s) to the Admissions team, they will have them processed and you will be notified which courses will transfer to Briar Cliff. They will also communicate with the Nursing Department and a faculty member will contact you to discuss options.

Q: How much does it cost to attend Briar Cliff?

A: HERE is a helpful link where you can find more information on the cost of attendance for an undergraduate degree.  


Q: What are the requirements for admission to the RN-BSN program?

A: *2.75 GPA for admission and progression through the program.

*Must have a current, unencumbered RN license. (Associate Degree students may apply in the last semester of their nursing program and any acceptance to the program will be contingent upon successful completion of the NCLEX-RN exam and nursing licensure.)

Q: When should I apply for the RN-BSN program?

A: Prospective students usually apply in the second year of their associate degree in a Nursing program. This allows for a transcript evaluation to be completed and dual advising regarding any other classes that may be transferred in.

Q: Is the program totally online?

A: Briar Cliff University's RN-BSN program is 100% online.  

Q: Is Briar Cliff University's RN-BSN program accredited?

A: Yes, Briar Cliff University's RN-BSN program is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Q: How many credit hours are required for graduation for the RN-BSN program?

A: Briar Cliff University's RN-BSN is very flexible.  The program can be completed in one to two plus years based on student preference.  It provides students the opportunity to have a work/life balance that supports student success. Students determine the number of credits they take each semester based on their needs.  

Q: How long will it take me to complete the program and earn my degree?

A: Briar Cliff University's RN-BSN is very flexible.  The program can be completed in one to two plus years based on student preference.  It provides students the opportunity to have a work/life balance that supports student success. Students determine the number of credits they take each semester based on their needs. 

Q: What is the cost of tuition for the BCU RN-BSN degree program?

A: If you already have your RN, click HERE for RN-BSN rates.

Q: Is there clinical requirements with the Briar Cliff University’s RN-BSN program?

A: Clinical activities will be project based and can be completed in a variety of settings, including the student’s own work organization.

Graduate Programs

Q: Can I transfer in nursing courses?

A: A total of 9 graduate credits can be transferred from another institution.

Q: What is the cost of the program?

A: $525/credit plus a $60 per credit fee. Our Family NP program is 54 credits. Adult Gero NP is 51 credits. Psychiatric Mental Health NP is 52 credits. DNP program is 36 credits. Click HERE to view this information on the BCU website. 

Q: Are there any "hidden fees"?

A: Each course that has a lab or a clinical component in the MSN program has a $75/clinical credit fee. The DNP program does not have clinical fees. In addition, several courses require clinical applications fees, however, our program views these similar to textbook fees as they assist students as resources within the program. All "resources" will be billed as a fee for the course and students can therefore pay these fees with their financial aid assistance.

Q: Are there any out of pocket costs that are not associated with the University Bill?

A: Textbooks, Clinical Background Check and Tracking, Assessment Tools for clinical, and Lab Coats are required for all students. Students are responsible for these costs.

Q: How long are your programs?

A: We consider our program a part-time graduate program. The MSN program is 3 years or 8 semesters (which includes 2 summers). The DNP program is 2 years or 6 semesters (which includes 2 summers).

Q: Can I utilize financial aid for graduate school?

A: If you are enrolled in 5 or more graduate credits, you should qualify for federal financial aid loans.

Q: Does your institution have any scholarships for graduate students?

A: Unfortunately, we do not have any scholarships offered by Briar Cliff University in the graduate program. We do however feel that we have very low and affordable tuition compared to other institutions.

Q: Will the school find my preceptors?

A: We ask that students share a role in identifying preceptors for clinical experiences, especially those outside of the Siouxland Region. Students will work with the clinical coordinator to identify potential preceptors. The clinical coordinator in collaboration with the NP faculty will vet the preceptors, sites, and establish the clinical contracts.

Q: Can I still work and go to graduate school?

A: Since our program is designed to be part-time, it is feasible to work and go to school. The first year of the MSN program is 100% online. Year two, clinical will begin. Students will need to make time in their work schedules to complete clinical rotations. We strongly recommend that students shift to part-time work, if possible, during the final 3 semesters of their MSN education in order to be fully immersed in their graduate education and clinical experiences.