Skip to main content

NursingCAS Quick Start Guide and FAQs

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.

NursingCAS App.png

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.


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.
  7. If you want to use the Professional Transcript Entry (PTE) service, sign up and submit your payment.

3 Weeks Before the Deadline

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

2 Weeks Before the Deadline

  1. Submit your application.
  2. Review the verification process, if applicable.
  3. If you paid for PTE, monitor your emails for information on the review process and be sure to approve your coursework in a timely manner.
  4. 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 can take up to 10 business days 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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Coursework, Transcripts, and GPAs Programs and Statuses Fees and Payments
Do I need to send transcripts?

Each program decides if you need to submit official or unofficial transcripts. Review each program's transcript requirements under Colleges Attended.


Where do I find the Transcript ID Form?

The Transcript ID Form is found in the Colleges Attended section after you submit a college or university entry.


Should I send my high school transcripts?

Some programs may require high school transcripts; contact your program directly for more information. 


My transfer credits are listed on my primary transcript. Do I still need to send all transcripts?

You must report all colleges and universities attended, even if your transfer credits are listed on your primary transcript. Review each program's transcript requirements under Colleges Attended.


How do I know what my primary institution is?

Your primary institution is the college or university where you earned or will earn your first undergraduate college degree.


Do I really have to enter all coursework?

Each program decides if you need to enter all coursework, prerequisites, or no coursework. Review each program's coursework requirements under Transcript Entry.


How do I list my repeated courses?

NursingCAS considers a course to be repeated if you enrolled in the same course (with the same course title and prefix) again at the same college or university.

Report all attempts of repeated coursework (including those that are currently in-progress or planned) and be sure to mark them as repeated during Transcript Review. Enter the number of credit hours attempted for each course, regardless of how many credits were actually earned.


Should I include foreign coursework in the Transcript Entry section?



Why is my NursingCAS GPA different from the GPA on my transcripts?

If your program requires that your coursework be verified, the NursingCAS GPAs factor in all coursework taken, regardless of the college or university and any academic forgiveness policies. See Calculating Your NursingCAS GPAs for more information.


I don't agree with the GPA. How do I change it?

If your program requires that your coursework be verified, the NursingCAS GPAs factor in all coursework taken, regardless of the college or university and any academic forgiveness policies. If after reviewing your calculated coursework you find an error with your GPA, review Disputing and Correcting NursingCAS Course Subjects and GPAs.


How do I remove a program?

Your application must always have at least one program selected. To remove a program, click the checkmark next to the program name on the Add Program tab or click the trash icon on the Submit Application tab.


Can I apply to more programs after I submit my application?

Yes, if the program's deadline date has not yet passed and the application cycle is open.


Should I submit my application if I'm still waiting on transcripts and/or references?

Yes. You can submit your application before your transcripts and/or references are received by NursingCAS.


Will NursingCAS update me on the status of my application?

Your application status for each program is listed in the Check Status section of the application. NursingCAS will notify you when official transcripts, references, and official test scores are received, and when you are verified, if applicable.


When will I learn about admissions decisions? Did I get in!?

You must reach out to your program(s) to learn about a school's admissions decisions.


Is there any other way to pay other than by credit card?

We accept payments by credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover) and PayPal.


I want a refund. What do I need to do?

Refunds are not given for any reason. Review Refunding/Withdrawing Your NursingCAS Application for more information.


Do fee waivers expire?

If you qualified for and were awarded a NursingCAS fee waiver, your fee waiver expires in 30 days, including weekends and holidays. See NursingCAS Application Fees and Fee Waivers for more information.


Why don’t I see the option for a fee waiver?

NursingCAS has a limited amount of fee waivers to award over a cycle. If you do not see the option to apply for a fee waiver, then all fee waivers have been awarded and none are left to be dispersed.

  • Was this article helpful?