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Program overview

The curriculum consists of general education, science courses, mathematics and specific nursing courses. These prerequisite courses may be completed with day, evening or online courses. (NURS 209 Introduction to Nursing is not offered online.) Each academic year consists of six eight-week sessions.

Full-time enrollment is six credit hours per eight-week session. More than nine credit hours constitutes an overload and will only be approved in exceptional cases.

Class meeting times

Meeting times vary between campuses. All six credit-hour courses require both classroom and clinical/lab hours. Days of the week for the nursing classes and clinical/lab can vary each session. All six credit-hour nursing courses meet four times a week: two days a week for lecture and two days a week for clinical/lab. 

There may be mandatory seminars that meet on Fridays. Faculty reserve the right to change the calendar with advanced notice to meet the needs of the program.

Most nursing courses are composed of a classroom and a clinical/lab component. Those starting times vary and may be patterned after the typical shift starting times for many hospitals/facilities. Each nursing course may have day and evening clinical/lab sessions. The clinical groups are dependent on the space in the clinical facility, and is subject to change.

Exceptions to standard meeting times (both campuses)

Some clinical rotations involve alternative-learning experiences that may require clinical times that vary from the norm. Some courses include clinical experiences that can only be completed during the day. Students who are assigned to evening clinicals may need to switch to days for certain experiences.

Some examples include: observing the Missouri State Board of Nursing hearings, observing in the operating room (OR), or various community-based learning experiences such as observing the role of the school nurse.

Program length

It is expected that a student could complete the 77 hour curriculum in 12 or 13 sessions (approximately 2 ½ years). This time can be shortened if a student transfers credit for general education, mathematics and science courses or elects to complete some requirements via the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). LPNs have the opportunity to test out of the first nursing course, NURS 210 Fundamentals of Nursing. This test will be administered following acceptance into the Nursing Program. A score of 850 or higher on the Fundamentals test must be achieved to have this course waived.

Transfer credits

All transfer credits are reviewed on an individual basis for equivalency for the required courses. The Office of the Registrar must have official copies of the transcripts. It is the student's responsibility to verify that Columbia College has received these transcripts, as well as all admissions and evaluations materials.

When all transcripts have been received, an initial transfer evaluation will be completed.  The student should meet with his/her Academic Advisor to discuss the degree audit.  The degree audit verifies which required prerequisite courses have been completed and/or accepted as equivalent in transfer and which courses need to be completed.

Acceptance into Columbia College does not guarantee acceptance into the nursing sequence courses. Admission to the nursing program is on a selective basis (see Criteria). There is a separate application process for the nursing sequence courses. See the steps for nursing sequence admission.


Columbia College does not discriminate on the basis of sex, age, disability, race, color, national origin, veteran status, marital status, religion, nationality, or ethnicity in the recruitment, admission, or treatment of any student. The college's nondiscriminatory practices pertain to all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the college, including administration of Columbia College's educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other college-related programs. (See the Policy & Procedures Columbia College Day Campus - Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunity Policy.)

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