About SMC Nursing Admissions

Enrollment in the Nursing Program is open to persons regardless of sex, age, marital status, disability*, ethnic group, religion or national origin. Persons with previous nursing education and/or experience may be considered for advanced placement and will be evaluated on an individual basis. 


Admission to the Nursing program MUST meet our eligibility requirements. 

Nursing Admissions Steps/Process 

  • Apply to SMC, if you have not already done so.
  • Connect with a Health Sciences Counselor, especially if you have completed courses outside of SMC.
  • Review the Nursing program information PDF for additional information and resources.
  • Review information on the Nursing Application button and submit an online Nursing program application during an open application period.
  • Post Nursing program application: applicants may not hear from the Nursing program regarding eligibility until September (or later). Below is a timeline of what is happening to ensure a Spring 2025 cohort. 
  • The Nursing program will send correspondence to your SMC email address.
  • This program provides veterans’ priority services under the jobs for veterans act.

Application Review & Admission Timeline* and Process 

(*subject to change depending on volume of applications received) 

Summer 2024 

  • Submit online Nursing program application: carefully review information on the Nursing Application button.

July – August 

  • Program will review applications to ensure all required transcripts/score reports are received in Admissions and Records by the designated deadline, and all supporting documents are correctly uploaded.
  • Program will check that applicants meet minimum eligibility to the program which includes calculating science prerequisite GPA, verifying coursework completed to determine eligibility, and calculating points for “bonus” areas such as relevant healthcare experience, life experience, foreign language, or degree awarded.
  • A preliminary point total will be calculated for all eligible applicants based on the Multi-Criteria Screening Process.


  • Applicants who apply will receive notification (email) of eligibility status once all applications have been reviewed.
  • Eligible applicants will receive registration information for the NLN NEX (Nursing Entrance Exam) and are INVITED to test. The Nursing program will send an email (check your SMC email) regarding testing instructions.
  • All eligible applicants will have to take the 2024 NLN NEX exam for admission consideration. Previous NLN PAX scores will not be accepted. The only exception (and only for the summer 2024 application period) is a passing NLN PAX score during the April 2024 on-ground testing/in-person cycle at SMC and the applicant was an alternate during the spring 2024 orientation.
  • The SMC nursing program does NOT use the TEAS.
  • Ineligible applicants are encouraged to schedule a Health Sciences counseling appointment for questions and concerns. 

NLN NEX Admission Assessment Information 

  • Prior to admission, all students who applied must also pass a diagnostic assessment test (verbal, math, and science).
  • All eligible applicants will have to take the 2024 NLN NEX (Nursing Entrance Exam) exam for admission consideration. Previous NLN PAX scores will not be accepted. The only exception (and only for the summer 2024 application period) is a passing NLN PAX score during the April 2024 on-ground/in-person testing cycle at SMC and the applicant was an alternate during the spring 2024 orientation.
  • To ensure success on the NLN NEX, early preparation is strongly encouraged. Study materials are available for purchase and include workbooks, online resources, and apps. SMC does not provide or pay for study material.
  • You will have access to purchase optional practice test materials directly through the National League for Nursing (NLN) when you receive your invitation to test.
  • Contact the SMC Center for Students with Disabilities, for more information regarding the procedure for requesting testing accommodations for a verified disability.
  • Students who fail to achieve a passing score will be required to complete additional pre-nursing readiness activities to be eligible to re-test and re-apply to the Nursing program. Pre-nursing readiness activities and clearance of diagnostic assessment deficiencies must be completed within one year of initial diagnostic assessment.  


  • Testing date TBD.
  • Points from NLN NEX score are added to the preliminary point total and applicants are ranked based on final total number of points from the Multi-Criteria Screening Process.
  • Available admission spaces will be filled each semester by students with the highest number of points.
  • All applicants will receive SMC email notification after the close of the NLN NEX testing indicating if they are 1) conditionally admitted; 2) an alternate; or 3) eligible but not admitted.
  • 40 applicants are conditionally admitted and invited to attend a mandatory Orientation.
  • Applicants who are not conditionally admitted are welcome to apply again during the next application cycle if they still meet eligibility requirements.
  • Re-application requires the applicant to re-apply (submit a new program application) as the program does not maintain a waitlist.


  • Conditionally admitted and some alternates are invited to attend a mandatory Orientation.
  • You will receive a detailed checklist if you are conditionally admitted to the program. Please wait until you receive instructions leading to orientation and at orientation.
  • Students should be prepared to spend approximately $1,000 the first semester for books, equipment, and uniforms. The estimated cost of the entire nursing program over two years is $3,000 - $4,000.


Physical Qualifications/Essential Functions, Background Check, Drug Screening, and Immunization Requirements. Additional information and instructions are provided before Orientation. 

Nursing students are required to meet/have the following once conditionally admitted to the Nursing program:  

  • Meet the minimum physical qualifications and essential functions (for more information review the Nursing Student Handbook at;
  • Negative criminal background check and drug screening (Persons who have been convicted of misdemeanor or felony may not qualify for licensure to practice nursing in California. For further details, student must contact the Associate Dean of Health Sciences.);
  • Valid Social Security Number or a valid Individual Tax Identification Number;
  • Physical Exam;
  • Titers: Hepatitis B, Measles (Rubeola), Mumps, Rubella, Varicella (chickenpox), and Polio (if you have documented vaccinations);
  • Immunizations: Tdap, Meningococcal B, and Seasonal Influenza;
  • Valid “Healthcare Provider” CPR card;
  • Proof of Malpractice Insurance;
  • Proof of 2-step TB Skin Test or CXR with proof of positive skin test or blood test;
  • Proof of Health Insurance Coverage;
  • Proof of current Seasonal Influenza Vaccination;
  • Proof of Breathe Safe Environmental Fit Test;
  • Proof of COVID-19 Full Vaccination


Important Information 

  • It is expected that you will notify the SMC Nursing Program immediately if you accept admission or enter a Registered Nursing Program at another college or university.
  • All applicants are responsible for keeping the Health Sciences Department informed of any changes that may affect their eligibility status. This includes official transcripts, change in address or phone, and any documentation that is essential for the determination of readiness to begin the nursing program. Inactive files are destroyed after four semesters. 

Advanced Placement/Transfer Applicants 

LVN's and/or transfer applicants must schedule an appointment with a Health Sciences Counselor in order to discuss their eligibility. Transfer applicants are required to meet the same standard for admission in addition to the following: successful completion of Nursing 19/transition class. There are limited spaces for this type of entry into the program.