The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BS in Nursing) program at UW-Milwaukee will prepare graduates to be science-based, compassionate nurse leaders through innovative and quality educational programs for all specialties and settings of practice.

As the largest School of Nursing in the state, UW-Milwaukee partners with over 160 clinical agencies to prepares students for beginning positions of responsibility and leadership in providing professional care for clients and their families in a variety of healthcare settings. Classroom and clinical experiences provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to begin a nursing career after graduation including: critical-thinking, clinical leadership, advocacy, and application of the nursing process to deliver care.

The BS in Nursing program is offered on the Milwaukee campus, UW-Washington County and Waukesha campuses and through a Consortial Program at the UW-Parkside campus.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Nursing is accredited through the Council of Baccalaureate and Higher Degree Programs of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the State of Wisconsin Board of Nursing.

Pre-Professional Program

New Freshmen

Students intending to pursue study in professional nursing are advised to complete the following units (one unit equals one year) in high school:

  • 1/2 unit of speech (if available)
  • 4 units of a foreign language
  • 3 units of college preparatory mathematics at or above algebra level (required by UWM)
  • 1/2 unit of computer science
  • 1 unit of biology
  • 1 unit of chemistry
  • 1 unit of history
  • 3 units of social studies
  • 4 units of English (required by UWM)

In addition to completing high school courses, applicants seeking admission to the pre-nursing program must have a composite ACT score of at least 19 (SAT equivalent of 910).

Transfer Students

Students intending to transfer into the pre-nursing curriculum must meet the following criteria:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 15 credits;
  2. Cumulative GPA of 2.5 on all completed coursework; and
  3. Completion of one transferable science class with a grade of B or better.

(The required pre-nursing science courses include: BIO SCI 101BIO SCI 202BIO SCI 203CHEM 101CHEM 103, and BMS 332.)

The policies and procedures of the School apply to all students even though the student may be enrolled in courses in another college or school within the University.

The general regulations governing UWM presented in this catalog apply to all pre-nursing students. The pre-nursing classification does not automatically guarantee acceptance into the nursing major.

The PSYCH 101 and NURS 203 sequence is required for Freshman, but transfers who have completed another Psych/Human Growth and Development sequence do not need to take these two courses at UW-Milwaukee.

Non-Nurse College Graduates

After prerequisites are met, non-nurse college graduates may be admitted into the professional nursing major or the master's (MN) program. Individuals' records, including consideration of related work experiences, are assessed to assign transfer credit for previous college-level coursework and to offer opportunities for credit by examination.

Professional Program

Students who seek to enter the major and meet eligibility criteria (see below) are required to file an application with the Student Affairs Office, School of Nursing. (This form is in addition to the application form required for admission to the University.) The School of Nursing Undergraduate Program Committee reviews the applications and makes recommendations for admission. Admission to the nursing major is highly competitive. A grade of C or higher must be earned in all requirements for the major. The average GPA of students accepted to the nursing major can be significantly higher than the minimum required GPA of 2.75, and a science minimum GPA of 2.75, needed for application to the major.

Application Deadlines

Students who seek to enter the nursing major in September must submit applications by the preceding January 2; for January entrance the deadline is the preceding July 24. 

Eligibility Criteria

Students are required to meet the following criteria to be reviewed for selection into the nursing major:

Coursework 1, 2, 3, 4
NURS 101Cultural Diversity in Health Care3
NURS 203Human Growth and Development Across the Life Span4
BIO SCI 202Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIO SCI 203Anatomy and Physiology II4
BIO SCI 101General Survey of Microbiology4
CHEM 101Chemical Science 55
CHEM 103Survey of Biochemistry 55
BMS 332Clinical Nutrition2
ENGLISH 102College Writing and Research 53
PSYCH 101Introduction to Psychology3
Sociology (any course) 3
HS 222Language of Medicine 63
Additional Professional Admission Requirements
Demonstration of competency in Math and English.
Completion of the Transfer Reference Form must be submitted by the Dean of Nursing if an applicant has been enrolled in clinical nursing courses at another college/university. The form and/or attached letter should reflect a positive recommendation for the student's progression into the nursing major.
An interview with the student making application may be requested at the discretion of the Undergraduate Program Committee.
Demonstration of satisfactory health as evidenced by physical examination and fulfillment of the health and immunization requirements by the appropriate deadline. The School of Nursing reserves the right to require a student to seek advice of healthcare professionals where it is believed that a condition of health would impede their progress or jeopardize the health of others. The School of Nursing does not discriminate based on a disability and provides reasonable accommodation to qualified students on an individual basis.
Knowledge of a computer word processing application.
Criminal background check.
Total Credits43

Courses may be repeated only once. No more than two (2) required courses may be repeated. All credit for required courses must have been earned in the 10 years preceding progression into the nursing major. Grades of less than 2.0 (C) must be replaced by grades greater than 2.0 (C) no later than August 31 for fall applicants and December 30 for spring applicants.


Achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale and 2.75 in the required science courses. This GPA is computed on the courses listed above.


Achieve a minimum grade of 2.0 (C) in each required nursing and non-nursing course.


All coursework must be completed with acceptable grades before beginning the nursing major.


Enrollment in freshman-level courses is based on placement test scores. Depending on the outcome of the placement tests, one or more preparatory courses may be required before enrollment in higher-level courses is permitted. Credits earned in preparatory courses do not apply to the 120 credits required for graduation.  


Any course including those from outside Schools/Colleges/Universities would be accepted if designated as "Medical Terminology." Student Affairs and Program Director to evaluate syllabi for applicability.

BS in Nursing Curriculum

Students must earn a minimum of 120-130 semester credits to complete requirements for the undergraduate degree. A cumulative GPA of 2.0 for all credits earned at UWM is required for graduation. For additional GPA requirements, refer to the Admission tab. Thirty semester credits must be completed on the Milwaukee campus; at least 20 of these credits must be earned in nursing. The required courses are listed below.

General Education Requirements 1
ENGLISH 102College Writing and Research3
Select one of the following:3
Mathematical Literacy for College Students II
Introduction to College Algebra
Algebraic Literacy II
GER Humanities 6
GER Arts 3
PSYCH 101Introduction to Psychology3
BIO SCI 101General Survey of Microbiology4
CHEM 101Chemical Science5
CHEM 103Survey of Biochemistry5
BIO SCI 202Anatomy and Physiology I4
BIO SCI 203Anatomy and Physiology II4
BMS 332Clinical Nutrition2
HS 222Language of Medicine 23
GER Foreign Language (satisfied by one of these options):0-8
Two years of a single foreign language in high school; or
Two semesters of a single foreign language in college; or
Demonstrate ability by examination.
NURS 101Cultural Diversity in Health Care3
NURS 203Human Growth and Development Across the Life Span4
Nursing Theory and Science
NURS 351Professional Role 1: Foundations of Professional Practice2
NURS 352Health and Illness Concepts 1: Introduction3
NURS 353Clinical Practicum 1: Foundations3
NURS 354Clinical Nursing Skills 11
NURS 398Health Assessment and Promotion in Nursing Practice3
NURS 399Concepts of Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutics 14
NURS 400Concepts of Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutics: 24
NURS 419Concepts of Evidence-based Nursing Practice3
NURS 420Professional Role 2: Provider of Care2
NURS 421Health and Illness Concepts 2: Acute and Chronic Conditions3
NURS 422Clinical Practicum 2: Acute & Chronic Conditions3
NURS 423Clinical Nursing Skills 21
NURS 435Concepts of Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutics III3
NURS 431Health and Illness Concepts IV: Lifespan3
NURS 432Health and Illness Concepts III: Population Health3
NURS 433Clinical Practicum 3: Population Health3
NURS 434Nursing Informatics and Technology3
NURS 476Professional Role 4: Leading in Complex Systems3
NURS 477Health and Illness Concepts 5: Complex3
NURS 478Clinical Practicum IV: Complex Care6
NURS 480Transition to Professional Practice3
Total Credits117

(GER credits) - All students are responsible for checking whether they must meet the UWM General Education Requirements.


Any course including those from outside Schools/Colleges/Universities would be accepted if designated as "Medical Terminology." Student Affairs and Program Director to evaluate syllabi for applicability.

Plan of Study

Individual course plans may vary. A Communication course in public speaking is strongly recommended (COMMUN 103 or COMMUN 105). Consult your academic advisor to confirm a plan of study.  

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Semester 1Credits
MATH 105 Introduction to College Algebra 3
BIO SCI 202 Anatomy and Physiology I 4
PSYCH 101 Introduction to Psychology 3
ENGLISH 102 College Writing and Research 3
NURS 103 Freshman Seminar in Professional Nursing 1
Semester 2
CHEM 100 Chemical Science 4
BIO SCI 203 Anatomy and Physiology II 4
NURS 101 Cultural Diversity in Health Care 3
SOCIOL Course 3
Year 2
Semester 1
CHEM 101 Chemical Science 5
NURS 203 Human Growth and Development Across the Life Span 4
GER Humanties Elective 3
GER Art Elective 3
Semester 2
CHEM 103 Survey of Biochemistry 5
BIO SCI 101 General Survey of Microbiology 4
BMS 332 Clinical Nutrition 2
HS 222 Language of Medicine 3
Year 3
Semester 1
NURS 351 Professional Role 1: Foundations of Professional Practice 2
NURS 399 Concepts of Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutics 1 4
NURS 352 Health and Illness Concepts 1: Introduction 3
NURS 398 Health Assessment and Promotion in Nursing Practice 3
NURS 354 Clinical Nursing Skills 1 1
NURS 353 Clinical Practicum 1: Foundations 3
Semester 2
NURS 420 Professional Role 2: Provider of Care 2
NURS 400 Concepts of Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutics: 2 4
NURS 421 Health and Illness Concepts 2: Acute and Chronic Conditions 3
NURS 419 Concepts of Evidence-based Nursing Practice 3
NURS 423 Clinical Nursing Skills 2 1
NURS 422 Clinical Practicum 2: Acute & Chronic Conditions 3
Year 4
Semester 1
NURS 435 Concepts of Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutics III 3
NURS 431 Health and Illness Concepts IV: Lifespan 3
NURS 432 Health and Illness Concepts III: Population Health 3
NURS 434 Nursing Informatics and Technology 3
NURS 433 Clinical Practicum 3: Population Health 3
Semester 2
NURS 476 Professional Role 4: Leading in Complex Systems 3
NURS 477 Health and Illness Concepts 5: Complex 3
NURS 480 Transition to Professional Practice 3
NURS 478 Clinical Practicum IV: Complex Care 6
 Total Credits119

Required Grade/Grade Point Average in the Professional Major

Every nursing student is required to maintain a minimum of a C average (cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale) on all work attempted in each semester or summer session. Failure to meet this minimum GPA will automatically result in a status of academic probation.

In addition to maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.0, a student must earn at least a C (2.0) in each required nursing course. (In a practicum nursing course, a student must earn at least a C in both the clinical and theoretical components in order to receive a C as the final course grade.) Any student who earns a grade below C (2.0) in a required nursing course is automatically dropped from the nursing major. Such a student must appeal to the Undergraduate Program Committee for readmission and permission to repeat the course in which a minimum grade of C was not earned.

In a nursing course with limited enrollment or a waiting list, qualified students who have not taken the course previously will have enrollment priority. Progression to the next level of courses is not permitted until all courses of the previous level have been successfully completed.

Dropping Courses

Students should refer to a current class schedule for information concerning existing University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee drop policy guidelines and any exceptions for individual courses.

Following admission to the nursing major, a student who wishes to drop from a required or elective clinical nursing course or to withdraw must discuss the matter with the instructor, course coordinator or department chair, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. In addition, the student may wish to discuss the matter with an academic advisor in the Student Affairs Office. Written approval to drop must be secured from the instructor and the Associate Dean irrespective of the week of the semester. Any such interruption in the sequence of courses following acceptance into the major requires re-admission to the clinical major. Information about applying for re-admission is available in the College of Nursing's Student Affairs Office.

Grievance Procedure

The College of Nursing has a formal written grievance procedure, available in the College of Nursing's Student Affairs Office. A grievance is defined as any situation affecting the status of a student in which the student believes his/her rights have been compromised or denied because of an erroneous or arbitrary interpretation or application of rules. Student grievances are reviewed by the College of Nursing's Undergraduate Program Committee, which recommends the disposition of the grievance to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. In addition, this Committee reviews and acts upon all cases of academic misconduct as described in Chapter UWS 17, UWM Student Disciplinary Procedures.

Student Responsibilities in the Major

Students are expected to provide their own transportation, uniforms, books, supplies, equipment, and other learning resources, such as clients for practice experience, as deemed necessary to meet course objectives.


Good physical and mental health are essential for study and practice in professional nursing. The faculty of the College of Nursing reserves the responsibility for retaining only those students who demonstrate qualities of physical and mental health generally considered to be imperative for professional nursing practice.

Health and accident insurance is not provided for students by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, or by any clinical agency where students may be assigned for clinical experience. Nursing students are expected to provide for their own personal health and accident insurance coverage.

A physical examination and specified immunizations are required of all students prior to enrollment in nursing practice courses. Expenses of this examination are the student's responsibility. Evidence of a physical examination – to be completed by a nurse practitioner, physician, or a physician assistant of the student's choice – must be submitted to the UWM College of Nursing Student Affairs Office on a date specified by the College of Nursing. The examination must be completed within 90 days before the date on which the student begins clinical nursing coursework. Students who do not meet these requirements may not continue in a clinical nursing practicum course.

Students are required to pass a 10-panel urine drug screen prior to participating in a clinical nursing practicum course. The purposes of the drug screen are to comply with expectations of area healthcare agencies, to provide optimal healthcare, and to support professional nursing’s zero tolerance position related to the unlawful use of substances. Students must abide by the drug screen policies of each healthcare agency to which they are assigned for clinical practicums. Students are also required to complete a CPR certification program through American Heart Association at a health care provider level. 

Illness or Prolonged Absence

Students are expected to be present at all scheduled classes and clinical laboratory experiences. Since space in nursing courses is assigned during the first week of the semester, students are expected to be present for all instructional periods during that week as well. Frequent or prolonged absences from scheduled classes and/or clinical experiences may necessitate that the student drop a nursing course. Any planned interruption in coursework should be discussed with the student’s advisor at the earliest possible date.

Safe Professional Practice in Clinical Settings

Students are expected to demonstrate patterns of professional behaviors that follow the legal and ethical codes of nursing; promote the actual or potential well-being of clients, healthcare workers, and self in the biological, psychological, sociological, and cultural realms; demonstrate accountability in preparation, documentation, communication, and continuity of care; and show respect for the human rights of individuals. A student whose pattern of behavior is found to be unsafe may be terminated from a clinical practicum for reason of unsafe practice at any time during the semester. If the behavior is identified before the drop date, the student will be directed to drop. If the drop date has passed, the student will receive a grade of F for the course. In order to continue in the nursing program, a student who is terminated from a clinical practicum must appeal to the Undergraduate Program Committee for re-admission to the nursing program.


Students in nursing are responsible for arranging transportation to and from all agencies or clients' homes used to provide clinical experience for the program. They are also responsible for any related liability. Students are expected to carry insurance on their vehicles.


Information about the uniform, a one-time investment, is sent to each student with the official letter of acceptance into the major. Students purchase their uniforms after acceptance.

Professional Credentials

Wisconsin state law requires nurses to be licensed to practice nursing within the state. Licensure is obtained by endorsement or by passing an examination. Students graduating from the College of Nursing are eligible to write the examination if they:

  1. are at least 18 years of age;

  2. are graduates of a high school or its equivalent;

  3. are able to speak, read, and write English; and

  4. pay the fee for licensure.

Applicants for registration/licensure in the State of Wisconsin will be asked to state if they have ever been convicted of a criminal offense, excluding minor traffic violations. When individuals have such a conviction, an explanation is requested. An investigation may follow depending upon the circumstances and all the facts related to the situation. Some organizations may require background reviews prior to acceptance of a student by the placement site.

Nursing BS Learning Outcomes

The graduate of the UWM College of Nursing is prepared to practice as a beginning generalist in a variety of settings utilizing the competencies listed below. In addition, the graduate will possess knowledge and skills that qualify them to pursue life-long learning and advanced study. The UWM College of Nursing undergraduate and graduate programs are directed toward enhancing the health of those who live and work in urban communities.

Students graduating from the BS in Nursing or RN-to-BSN program will be able to: 

  • Provide holistic nursing care that recognizes patients' preferences, values, and needs and respects them as full partners in providing compassionate, coordinated, age- and culturally appropriate, safe, and effective care. 
  • Exhibit accountability for delivering standard-based nursing care that is consistent with moral, altruistic, legal, ethical, regulatory, and humanistic principles. 
  • Influence the behavior of individuals or groups of individuals within the environment to facilitate the establishment and acquisition/achievement of shared goals. 
  • Express awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context of the healthcare system and utilize microsystem resources to provide care of optimal quality and value. 
  • Interpret and employ information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision-making. 
  • Interact effectively with patients, families, and colleagues, fostering mutual respect and shared decision-making, to enhance patient satisfaction and health outcomes. 
  • Function within nursing and interdisciplinary teams, fostering open communication, mutual respect, shared decision-making, team learning, and development. 
  • Minimize risk of harm to patients and providers through both system effectiveness and individual performance. 
  • Develop and utilize data to monitor the outcomes of healthcare processes.  
  • Use improvement methods to design and test changes to continuously improve the quality and safety of healthcare systems. 
  • Identify, apply, and evaluate the best current evidence and clinical expertise while considering patients’ preferences, experiences, and values to make practice decisions. 

College of Health Professions and Sciences Dean's Honor List

GPA of 3.500 or above, earned on a full-time student's GPA on 12 or more graded credits in a given semester.

Honors College Degree and Honors College Degree with Distinction

Granted to graduating seniors who complete Honors College requirements, as listed in the Honors College section of this site.

Commencement Honors

Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.500 or above, based on a minimum of 40 graded UWM credits earned prior to the final semester, will receive all-university commencement honors and be awarded the traditional gold cord at the December or May Honors Convocation. Please note that for honors calculation, the GPA is not rounded and is truncated at the third decimal (e.g., 3.499).

Final Honors

Earned on a minimum of 60 graded UWM credits: Cum Laude - 3.500 or above; Magna Cum Laude - 3.650 or above; Summa Cum Laude - 3.800 or above.