How to Transfer Into a Nursing Program: 5 Steps

5 Steps - Madonna ABSN nursing students studying together

To transfer into a nursing program, you’ll need to first speak with an admissions representative to make sure our ABSN program is a good fit for you. Your representative will also help you create an academic plan. Additionally, you’ll need to complete prerequisite courses and meet program requirements. Finally, you will apply to the program and await an admissions decision.

12 min read

Table of Contents


If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve earned some college credits but may have not finished your degree. If you’re looking to leverage those credits and transfer into a nursing program, we’ve got you covered!

Madonna University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program accepts transfer students. We understand that sometimes your first degree path isn’t the right fit. Whether it be a case of personal or family commitments, relocation, or just a change in what interests you, switching degree paths can result in a career that’s better suited to you and your lifestyle.

In fact, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 38%, or nearly 4 in 10 students, are likely to transfer colleges.

You’re not alone in your choice to pursue a new career path, and at Madonna University, we believe the credits you’ve already accrued are valuable. If you feel the call to become a registered nurse, the Madonna ABSN program could be a great fit for you.

“It was a perfect decision for me to choose Madonna University because I value what this institution offers to students through a liberal arts education. Respect for diversity, commitment to serving the community, and nursing student success are what this program will give me to become a prideful graduate. Madonna University has taught me to not only be a healthcare professional but let me practice public service with honorable intentions. Madonna University’s values reflect many of my own,” says Ed, a December 2019 Madonna graduate.

During our 16-month ABSN program, you will complete 53 credit hours over the span of four full-time semesters, a rigorous curriculum that will prepare you to enter the field as a skilled and capable registered nurse.

Our ABSN curriculum builds the foundation that prepares you to sit for the NCLEX-RN nurse licensure exam, and go on to enter the workforce as a confident and compassionate Madonna nurse.

If you’re ready to leverage your credits to transfer into a nursing program, we can help. Here are five steps for transferring into the ABSN Program at Madonna University.

1. Talk to an Admissions Representative

Your transfer process starts with a chat with one of our expert admissions representatives.

They’ll get to know you and help you determine if our Accelerated BSN program is the right fit for you, both academically and personally. Their job is to make sure Madonna is a great fit for your goals and expectations. They’ll take the time to learn about your previous experience, your learning preferences, and your passion for nursing before consulting on potential next steps.

So, can you switch to a nursing major? The answer is yes if you’re willing to put in the time and dedication. The accelerated pace of the program doesn’t compromise quality for time. As such, a lot of information and experience is compressed into a short amount of time in the ABSN program.

As such, the commitment it takes to successfully complete requires a significant amount of time and energy.

It is your admission representative’s job to make sure this is the right decision for you and assess how you can prepare to be successful.

Madonna University ABSN - Admissions representative

Not all programs that accept transfer students have representatives who understand the intricacies of an ABSN program, however our representatives at Madonna partner with you each step of the way.

Our admission representatives work exclusively with prospective ABSN students to take you through the process step by step, clear up any confusion, and help you gather everything you need to get started in the program.

Each representative is an advocate of higher learning and an expert in what it takes to be successful in the accelerated nursing program. They are readily available to share all the details with you and assist you every step of the way.

As a transfer student, they can also pull together all of the credits you’ve earned and help you get a clear picture of what will transfer and what you may have to fulfill before starting your ABSN coursework.

2. Make an Academic Plan

At Madonna University, we want to set you up for success from the get-go. That’s why we work with you to develop an academic plan and set the trajectory for you to be able to enroll in your ABSN program on your desired start date in either January, May, or August.

Creating an academic plan can help you stay on-track and map out your nursing education, keeping you focused on your goals and informed enough to have realistic expectations for your personal timeline.

According to a recent study, students who make an academic plan end up enrolling in an average of 2.68 more credit hours each term than students who don’t make a plan.

In the eight semesters for a standard four-year bachelor’s program, that would add up to about 21 credits that students who didn’t make an academic plan miss out on, leaving them a semester or more behind on their path to graduation.

In other words, making an academic plan is just one way Madonna University partners with you to plan for success. We want you to step into your nursing journey with your best foot forward, and as this research shows, making an academic plan with one of our representatives is a great way to do just that.

3. Meet Nursing Transfer Requirements

Next, you’ll need to meet a series of requirements to be eligible to transfer into the nursing program. As we mentioned above, transfer students need to have 60 credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Madonna ABSN students in classroom

Is it possible to transfer into a nursing program if you don’t meet those requirements? Well, if your GPA does not meet that requirement, don’t take yourself out of the race just yet. Even if you don’t hold a 3.0, there may be steps you can take to raise your GPA and be considered for the program.

Just make sure to talk to your admissions representative about it, and they’ll work with you to see if there is a reasonable solution. You’ll receive advice on how to boost other areas of your application to balance out your grades.

When you’re ready to apply to the program, you’ll need to submit all official transcripts of coursework with your application to the university. Along with that, you’ll need to submit a letter of intent to the College of Nursing and Health.

You may be familiar with a letter of intent when applying to your previous institution. However, if you are unfamiliar, Indeed describes a nursing letter of intent as: “a letter of intent is your opportunity to explain more about yourself, discuss your goals in nursing school and persuade the reader that you should be accepted into nursing school. You might also use your letter of intent when you apply for scholarships and when you apply for nursing jobs.” The site also shares some great tips on the process of writing the letter as well as a universal template to start out with.

Once you have all of your necessary documents gathered, you’ll also need to complete a criminal background check.

As a transfer student, you will also need to obtain an ATI TEAS exam composite score of 65% or greater and you may need to take the Madonna Writing Assignment.

The Madonna Writing Assessment

nursing student studying on laptop

If you do not hold a bachelor’s degree and cannot transfer over composition credits, you’ll need to complete the Madonna Writing Assessment.

While we understand meeting another requirement could feel overwhelming, we try to make it as painless as possible. There’s no cost for the assessment, and it can be taken online at any time that works for you. Following the test, admissions will review the assessment and determine if additional writing support is required.

One of the most important requirements on that list is completing your prerequisite courses. These courses prepare you for your ABSN education. Your previous college experience will then determine the number of ABSN prerequisites you may need to complete.

4. Complete Prerequisites

After you’ve spoken to your admissions representative and identified which prerequisites you need to take, Madonna University makes it convenient for you to do so by offering the courses online, so you can complete them from wherever you choose at a pace that you’re comfortable with — but keep in mind that these courses are not factored into your 16-month ABSN track.

Completing your prerequisites through Madonna enables you to familiarize yourself with the structure of the hybrid nursing classes and our intuitive online learning platform. Think of it as a trial run for when you begin your nursing coursework. By doing your prerequisites through Madonna, you’ll know what to expect from the platform and be well-versed in online learning before your program even starts. This can be especially helpful if you’ve been out of school for a while or have little to no experience with online classes.

Prerequisites gave me a basis of knowledge before starting the program. I came into the program with a well-rounded education, therefore I was prepared for the rigorous course work and schedule of the program.

-Taylor, 2019 Madonna ABSN graduate

Taking prerequisite through Madonna University also gives you early access to your professors and grades, easing your transition into the program. As an added bonus, taking two prerequisite courses automatically gives you provisional acceptance into the ABSN program.

Before enrolling in your ABSN courses, the following prerequisite course requirements must be fulfilled or transferred in. Remember, these are not included in your 16-month accelerated track.

While the prerequisite course load may seem like another requirement to fulfil before being able to jump into your nursing curriculum, these classes build the foundation for nursing theory and help you become a well-rounded registered nurse ready to confidently treat patients. Many of these classes will cover content that will later appear in your nursing theory coursework.

The prerequisites helped me prepare for this program by giving me the knowledge of important concepts related to a patient’s health. Success in courses like pathophysiology, chemistry, and anatomy gave me a better understanding of the nursing process and in courses such as pharmacology.

-Ed, December 2019 Madonna graduate

5. Apply to the Program

Once you’ve got your required documents together and you’ve fulfilled the requirements in the above section, you’ll be ready to apply formally to the program and transfer in. You can apply to the ABSN program with some prerequisites still in progress; however, you must satisfy the prerequisite requirements before you can officially start the accelerated nursing program.

Your admissions representative can help you fill out the application and submit your documents and from there you’ll await an admissions decision.

It Is Possible to Transfer Into Madonna’s Accelerated Nursing Program

Being a transfer student might feel overwhelming, but it’s important to go into your ABSN journey knowing you’re not alone. In fact, the Association of American Colleges and Universities has found that over one third of students transfer at least once. Additionally, just three percent of students who transfer from a two-year college to a four-year college complete a degree before transferring — so it’s not at all uncommon to transfer into a degree pathway that more closely reflects your goals and passions.

Being a Transfer Nursing Student

Group of Madonna Accelerated BSN students studying together

It may be intimidating transferring into a new place and program, but as a student in Madonna’s ABSN program, you can breathe easy knowing that you will be surrounded by like-minded peers from various backgrounds. These peers will make up your cohort, hopefully making you feel understood and supported during your time in the program. As fellow members of your class, these students will be the people you look to lean on for support during challenging times.

Regardless of how different we are, we’re all still very close and tight-knit and have been helping each other out since day one.

-Steve, Accelerated BSN graduate

Your cohort is a great way to feel out the program and how you want to approach it. For example, ask your cohort members how they manage their time and what they do to stay organized, and maybe their techniques can help you, too. After all, these students are experiencing the ABSN program with you, so they know exactly how you are feeling.

“It’s nice to have those friends to study with,” says Alexandra, another Accelerated BSN graduate. “I find that I do better on exams when I am able to talk it through with some friends and explain concepts with them.”

It can be comforting knowing that you’re transferring into a nursing program that fosters a solid connection with classmates and encourages students to experience the program together. In fact, it’s possible that the more time you spend with your cohort members, the more they will start to feel like family. “I love my cohort, we do everything together,” says Cassidy, an ABSN student. Whether it’s getting together to study or finding the best spot for a cup of coffee in Detroit, your cohort will be there for you.

Learn and Work in Detroit

In its study we mentioned earlier, the AACU found that 20 percent of students from two-year institutions, and 25 percent from four-year institutions, transferred to institutions that were in a new state.

Relocating for nursing school

If you’re transferring to us from out of state, we can assure you that our location in metro Detroit is the best place to start your journey toward becoming a registered nurse.

With a population of more than four million people, Detroit is the second largest metropolitan area in the Midwest behind Chicago.

The Detroit area is full of entertainment options, outdoor recreational opportunities, and great restaurants. It’s an exciting place to go out on the town or do some rural exploring. More importantly, the city has an evolving healthcare industry seeking qualified registered nurses who have BSNs, making it an excellent place to earn your ABSN.

Detroit is also home to Ascension Michigan, Madonna’s academic practice partnership. During the 16-month ABSN program, you will complete clinicals to gain valuable in-hospital experience, from one of the Detroit area’s top healthcare teams.

Ascension Michigan operates four hospitals and more than 125 medical facilities across the state of Michigan, offering ABSN students lots of opportunities to learn and grow in a number of healthcare settings.

Additionally, Ascension Michigan is a nonprofit and Catholic-based, just like Madonna. The entity focuses on providing holistic care to improve the health of the whole individual and the community.

Understanding how Ascension operates and getting hands-on experience with the expert healthcare workers there is a great way to establish yourself as a dedicated nurse and network for career opportunities in the area.

You Can Switch to a Nursing Major

At Madonna, we want to help you leverage your existing crediting into a rewarding career as a nurse. We understand that sometimes personal, financial or academic issues can derail an academic pathway and if you are ready to become a nurse, there’s no better time than now to use your previous college experience to do so.

Regardless of the reason for the change, switching majors to nursing and transferring colleges doesn’t have to be stressful. Our knowledgeable admissions representatives are prepared to help you navigate the ins and outs of transferring into the Madonna ABSN nursing program.

Madonna Accelerated BSN student

Get Started on Your Accelerated Nursing Education Today!

If transferring into nursing school and pursuing a career as a caring, compassionate, and capable registered nurse is something that sounds right for you, Madonna University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program is here to help you leverage your existing credits and achieve your goals.

Get started today by connecting with one of our admission representatives. In addition to answering any outstanding questions you may have about the program, they will help determine your eligibility and identify any prerequisite courses you need to complete.

Get Started Today

By requesting information, I consent to be contacted by Madonna University through my email, phone, and text using automated technology regarding enrollment.