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Liaison International

NursingCAS Quick Start Guide

What is NursingCAS? 

Nursing’s Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS) is an online application designed to simplify the nursing school admissions process by enabling students to apply to multiple programs with one, electronic application. NursingCAS is a service of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) that allows prospective students to discover and apply to associate degree, baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs offered by participating nursing schools.

  • Visit the program directory to find out more about participating programs and their admissions requirements. 
  • Click here to interact with a sample application. 
  • Click here to start your application. 


How long does the application process take? 

It's important you apply as early as possible since completing your application can be a lengthy process, and since application processing times vary throughout the cycle. Below is a suggested timeline that includes key actions to keep the application process on track. This timeline may need to be adjusted based on your programs' deadlines and requirements. 

Timeline Key Actions

6 Weeks Before the Deadline

  1. Research programs you wish to apply to. Pay special attention to:

    • Cycle dates and deadline requirements. 
    • Application fees.
    • Reference requirements. 
    • Minimum requirements, including prerequisites, standardized test scores, supplemental applications, foreign evaluations, etc. 
    • Transcript and coursework requirements. 
  2. Begin contacting potential References to confirm their participation. 

  3. Review all instructions in this Help Center. 

5 Weeks Before the Deadline

  1. Create your account and begin adding programs. 
  2. Complete the Colleges Attended section, and review each program's transcript requirements. Some programs may require that you send official transcripts to NursingCAS, some may require unofficial transcripts, and others might not require any transcripts.
  3. Review each program's Transcript Entry requirements. Some programs may require that you enter all of your coursework, some may require that you enter only prerequisite coursework, and others might not require that you enter any coursework. 
  4. If required by your programs, request your References in the Program Materials section.
  5. If required by your programs, ask your schools to send official transcripts directly to NursingCAS (you may also need to request that transcripts be sent to you if a program requires that you enter your coursework). If there are any holds on your account at a school, resolve them now to avoid delays in sending transcripts. 
  6. If applicable, begin entering coursework into your application. 

3 Weeks Before the Deadline

  1. Check in with your references to confirm that they received the reference request via e-mail.
  2. If applicable for programs, send official test scores to NursingCAS.

2 Weeks Before the Deadline

  1. Submit your application. Review the Verification process, if applicable. Monitor your application for receipt of all required transcripts and letters of reference and follow up on any missing items.

1 Weeks Before the Deadline

Continue monitoring your application. If your program requires that your coursework be verified, note the following:

Once all of your required application materials are received, your application's status changes to Complete and your application is placed in line to be verified. Verifications occur in chronological order and on average take two weeks to complete. Once your application is verified, you will receive a notification and your application's status will change to Verified

After Deadline Download a copy of your application for your records. 
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