FAQs about the BSN Program and Admission Criteria

The NMSU Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is a four (4) year program consisting of 124-125 credit hours.  Students must apply and be accepted to the program in order to start their nursing courses.

Students will be designated as “pre-nursing” until they are admitted to the BSN program.
The nursing program consists of five (5) semesters, a total of 66 credits.
Typically, a student can expect to complete at least three semesters of pre-requisite course work prior to starting the nursing program. However, an alternate 4 semester degree plan is available upon request. Contact your academic advisor at  the Center for  Academic Advising and Student Success (CAASS) to review your degree plan.
Pre-nursing student advising is provided through the NMSU Center for Academic Advising and Student Success (CAASS). Students should meet with their pre-nursing advisor each semester.
See table below for a list of the pre-nursing requirements:

Semester 1

17 cr.

ENGL 1110G Rhetoric/Composition

4 cr.

MATH 1220G College Algebra

3 cr.

CHEM 1120G Applied Chemistry & lab (preferred) or CHEM 1215G General Chemistry I

4 cr.

PSY 1110G (201G) Introduction to Psychology

3 cr.

NUTR 2110 (HNDS 251) Human Nutrition

3 cr.

Semester 2

17 cr.

ENGL 2210G Writing for the Humanities

3 cr.

CEPY 1120G Human Growth and Behavior

3 cr.

SPMD 2210/2210L Anat. Phys. I & lab

4 cr.

MATH 1350G or A ST 311 Stat. Applic

3 cr.

BIOL 2110G/2110L (211GL) Cellular Biology & Lab

4 cr.

Semester 3

18 cr.

COMM 1115G or COMM 1130 Oral Comm

3 cr.

SPMD 3210/3210G (SP M 371+L) Anat. & Phys. II & lab

4 cr.

BIOL 2320 or BIOL 311 Microbiology

3 cr.

BIOL 311L Microbiology Lab

2 cr.

**Area VI Creative & Fine Arts

3 cr.

**Area V Humanities 3 cr.

3 cr.

An alternative 4-semester prerequisite degree plan is available upon request.
* *These classes are not included in the Prerequisite GPA calculation.

Pre-nursing students must achieve a grade of “C - “or higher in all pre-requisite and general education courses.
Students are allowed to repeat a course one time for a grade replacement. Grades will be averaged for all repeated courses beyond the first.

Students must submit their applications by the following dates:

  • February 1 st for Fall Semester Admission
  • September 1 st for Spring Semester Admission
When you are registered in your last semester of your pre-requisite courses, contact the School of Nursing Advising Office at nursing@nmsu.edu to confirm your eligibility to apply, and to request a BSN program application and instructions for taking the HESI A2 exam.

There are several requirements that are considered for admission to the program. These include:

  • Applicants must achieve a minimum nursing pre-requisite GPA of 2.75 in order to be eligible to apply to the BSN program. ( Note: The GPA of accepted students is generally higher than this minimum.)
  • Applicants must achieve a minimum of 75% on all required sections of the HESI A2 Admission Assessment. ( Note: The HESI A2 scores of accepted students is generally higher than this minimum.)
    • A maximum of 2 attempts is allowed per application cycle.
    • Exam scores are valid for ONE semester.
    • The HESI A2 exam should be taken at least 1 month before the application deadline
Yes, admission to the BSN program is a competitive process and is based on ranked admission scores.

The BSN Program Admission Score is calculated as follows:



Nursing Program Pre-requisite Course GPA


HESI A2 Admission Assessment Score


New Mexico residents, military students,
135 Mile Out-of-State Tuition Discount Texas resident


Four (4) or more pre-requisite course taken at NMSU


Admission Essay Score


BSN program admission score calculations are subject to change.
Please update any changes in your contact information in myNMSU to ensure that you receive important communications about the BSN program.
  • Trusted Profession: Americans have rated nurses as the #1 most ethical and honest profession for the last 19 years, according to the most recent Gallup pool.
  • Job Security: Based on data from the NM Department of Workforce Solutions by 2030, there will be more than 1,200 annual job openings for registered nurses in New Mexico.
  • High Earning Potential: Registered Nurses in New Mexico earn an average annual salary of $75,500 per year (or $36.40 per hour) as of May 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Flexible Schedules: While the basic workday for most people is an 8-hour day, five days per week, the average for nurses is 12-hour shifts, three days per week. Longer hours mean more time to spend doing the things you want to do on your days off.
  • Diverse Opportunities: Nurses are needed everywhere. There are many different areas of nursing to work in. If you find one isn't right for you, then it is relatively easy to move into another area of nursing.

Yes, the baccalaureate program in nursing at New Mexico State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The BSN program has received full approval with warning for two-years from the New Mexico Board of Nursing due to the average first-time NCLEX-RN scores being less than 80%. Overall, NCLEX-RN pass rates for 2021 were 88.6.


FAQ about the Health Education Systems, Inc (HESI)

The NMSU Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program requires that all applicants complete the HESI Admissions Assessment Exam (A2 V-1), an entry level, standardized exam designed for pre-nursing students.

The HESI A2 Exam can be taken at a Prometric testing center or through the ProctorU online facility on a date that is scheduled by the student. Contact the School of Nursing Advising Office at 575-646-7311 or nursing@nmsu.edu if you have any questions.


DO NOT take the HESI A2 Exam at DACC or any other school. The DACC nursing program requires that students complete different sections of the exam and they cannot tailor it to our requirements.

Pre-nursing students should take the HESI A2 in the months prior to their target BSN application deadline. The exam will need to be completed and the score available before the following application deadlines:

September 1st for Spring semester admission
February 1st for Fall semester admission

If you are taking your exam at Prometric, you must schedule the exam well in advance of the BSN program application deadline since space is limited. We recommend you take Version # 1 at least a month before the deadline date so that if you need to take it again you have time to take Version # 2 before the deadline.

At a Prometric testing center, the cost is approximately $140 for the exam and test administration. The ProctorU online facility is $60.00 for the exam and test administration.

No. The NMSU BSN programs requires that applicants complete the following sections on the HESI examination:

  1. ALL English sections (Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, & Grammar)
  2. Math
  3. Biology
  4. Chemistry

Requirements may change, therefore it is important to contact the advising office to get the most up to date information.

You must score a minimum score of 75% in each category for Math, Biology and Chemistry, and the English Composite. Students are required to complete all sections of the English exam. These include Reading Comprehension, Grammar, and Vocabulary. Your exam will not be accepted if any of the sections are missing and you will need to retake it. Your HESI A2 score is worth 50% of your BSN program admission score, therefore a higher score will improve your chances of being accepted into the nursing program.
In order to take Version #2 of the HESI students must request permission from a School of Nursing advisor in person or via email. Processing this request takes 24-48 hours so plan accordingly. Student may re-take individual sections of the exam, or choose to re-take the entire exam. Please contact the School of Nursing Advising Office at 575-646-7311 or nursing@nmsu.edu.
Contact the BSN advisor at the NMSU School of Nursing Advising Office to obtain the information documents for the NMSU BSN HESI A2 Exam. The student will need to decide whether to take the exam at the Prometric Testing Center or through ProctorU. This document will have the NMSU exam identification code for Prometric and more detailed information about how to take the exam. Please contact the School of Nursing Advising Office: 575-646-7311 or nursing@nmsu.edu.
Students will be allowed to take the exam a maximum of TWO (2) times per application cycle. HESI A2 Exam scores are valid for ONE semester only. If a student takes more than one attempt, a composite score will be calculated based on the high scores from the two exams for the current cycle.

Reviewing information gained in your nursing pre-requisite courses, including textbooks and lecture notes, is the primary way to study for the HESI A2 Exam. Focus on the content areas required by the NMSU BSN program (English, Math, Biology, Chemistry).

HESI Admissions Assessment review books (with practice exams) are available at the NMSU and DACC campus bookstores. There are also review books and flashcards through online booksellers. The HESI Admission Assessment Exam Review and the HESI A2 Study Guide 2019 & 2020 are two options, however the School of Nursing does not endorse any one resource. Please note that the review books have chapters and practice exams on Physics as well as Anatomy & Physiology, which you DO NOT need to study.

A free HESI A2 Exam prep course is available through the Mometrix Test Preparation website.

There are also apps for your smartphone through the App Store of Google Play:

Prometric has testing centers in most major cities. A list of available testing centers if available on the Prometric website. The ProctorU option allows students to take the exam in the comfort of their own homes.
Yes, we have a Canvas HESI Tutor course available to NMSU students who are interested. Please contact the School of Nursing Advising Office at 575-646-7311 or nursing@nmsu.edu to be added to that service.