Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing - Welcome to ETBU
East Texas Baptist University
Bachelor of Science
Frequently Asked Questions
Department of Nursing
1. Why is nursing a great career choice?
If helping other people is important to you, and you have a keen interest in sciences
as they relate to the human body, then professional nursing might just be the perfect
career for you. The field of nursing is challenging and demanding, but the rewards
are great. Very few professions allow you to have such a profound impact on the
lives of people and their families.
2. Besides hospitals, where do RegisteredNurses work?
Professional nursing offers opportunities in a variety of settings. While the vast
majority of the nursing workforce is employed in hospitals, nurses also work in
clinics, private practice, extended care facilities, public and private schools,
industrial/occupational settings, private homes, ambulatory care centers, colleges,
insurance companies, and legal settings just to name a few!
3. What about nursing salaries?
Nursing salaries in most Texas markets range from approximately $35,000 for
beginning nurses to over $200,000 for experienced nurses in high level leadership
roles. Salaries usually reflect the level of education, sub-specialization, the level of
responsibility, and tenure. There are more detailed salary examples on page 6 of this
4. Does the “shortage of nurses” I hear about mean that I will, or won't, get a job?
You will definitely have a job. The United States Department of Labor projects that
nursing will experience one of the largest job growth rates over the next several years.
Registered Nurses are critical to the delivery of health care to patients, which makes
them a highly valuable member of the health care team. Nurses are, and will continue
to be, in very high demand.
5. How long does it take to become a registered nurse?
It depends on the type of degree you plan to pursue. Entry into professional nursing
can be achieved through the following types of educational programs:
a. Diploma Program in Nursing: This approach typically takes three years in
an on the job training scenario within a hospital (only two such programs
currently exist in Texas). Graduates receive a certificate, not a college
b. Associate Degree Program in Nursing: This approach typically takes two
to three years and is based in a community (or junior) college. Graduates
receive an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).
c. Baccalaureate Degree Program in Nursing: This approach typically takes
four years and is based in a university. Graduates receive a Bachelor’s
Degree in Nursing (BSN).
6. What is different about the BSN versus the ADN?
The BSN provides extra preparation in the areas of leading, managing, and research.
It also is a common pre-requisite for entering graduate study in the field of nursing.
7. What is nursing school like? Are the courses hard?
The curriculum in nursing school is very rigorous. You must stay focused and have
good study and organization skills. It is fast paced and you will cover a lot of content
in relatively short periods of time. You must be committed to learning! If you want
to be good at your chosen profession and have a life-long career, then working hard
for your goal is a good thing.
Most nursing courses are structured differently from what you probably experienced
in high school and traditional types of college courses. For instance, you may have
taken a biology course that consisted of a biology class plus a biology lab. In a
typical nursing course, there is also a classroom (or theory) component plus a lab.
What is different is that the lab experience is an actual health care delivery site such
as a hospital or clinic. This lab experience will more than likely occur only once per
week, but it may last anywhere from 6 to 12 hours, depending on the type of course.
Nursing students actually provide “hands-on” patient care, under the supervision of
their instructors, after they have learned and demonstrated that care in the school’s
By the time you graduate, you are ready to take your place in the workforce quickly
and to progress rapidly. Yes, nursing school is hard. So is every other worthwhile
endeavor you will undertake in your life.
8. Are science and math skills important to become a nurse and practice nursing?
Definitely! A nurse’s job, along with other members of the health care team, is to
assist patients in the healing process in the safest and most caring way possible.
Daily, nurses use math skills to calculate correct medication dosages or to figure the
drip rate for intravenous drugs so that they are administered effectively. Through the
study of sciences, such as biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, students
learn, for example, how and why chemical reactions can trigger physiological
reactions. A thorough knowledge foundation of sciences and math equips a nurse not
only with scientific skills, but also helps to develop the ability to observe, think
critically, and problem-solve. Yes, science and math skills are essential keys to the
successful and safe practice of a caring and competent professional nurse.
9. I'm not a traditional college student. What chance will I have for success in
nursing school and in the job market?
Your chances of success in nursing school are much more closely related to your
study habits and past success in school than they are to your age. The average age of
nursing school graduates is in the mid-thirties, so a person aged 40 would be close to
the middle of the age group. You would want to consider what other demands you
have on your time as well. However, most nursing students today have families, jobs,
and 'commutes' that they manage quite nicely using time management strategies and
priority setting. Both of these qualities are as important for nursing as they are for
life in general. Age is not a barrier for nursing school. The type of work, flexible
hours, and variety of locations for working as a nurse make this career option
attractive to people of all ages.
10.Does acceptance into ETBU mean that I am accepted into the nursing program?
No, but you must be admitted to the university in order to be admitted to the nursing
program. There is a separate application process for the nursing program that is
completed during the semester prior to the start of each nursing class. This is a very
common practice in schools of nursing across the country. Part of the application
process is showing that you have met all of the nursing program’s admission
11.What are the current requirements for admission to the nursing program?
a. Completion of all nursing pre-requisite courses and admission to ETBU.
b. Overall GPA of 2.8 or higher.
c. Grade of C or better in all sciences, elementary statistics, developmental
psych, and Introduction to Professional Nursing courses.
d. Completion of the nursing application packet, including reference letters,
immunization records, brief essay, and criminal background check.
e. Passing score on a nationally normed pre-admission assessment exam.
12.When can I apply for admission to the nursing program and when does it begin?
Currently, a nursing class begins at ETBU each fall. The curriculum is designed so
that all pre-requisite courses are completed during the freshman and sophomore years,
and the actual nursing program is completed during the junior and senior years.
Applications for acceptance into each nursing class are accepted during each spring
semester for selection of the upcoming fall nursing class. The due date for
applications is March 1. An application may be obtained by contacting the
Admissions Coordinator in the School of Nursing.
13.What are the nursing program pre-requisite courses?
The following is a general list of the nursing program pre-requisite courses. Please
refer to the current ETBU catalog (available on the ETBU website) for course
numbers, credit hours, and course descriptions.
Chemistry Concepts with a lab; Anatomy & Physiology I & II with labs; English
Rhetoric & Composition I & II; English Literature; Fundamentals of Speech;
Kinesiology Activity; Kinesiology Lifetime Fitness; US History to 1877;
Elementary Statistics; Fine Arts; American & State Government; Microbiology
with a lab; Spanish for Healthcare Professionals; New or Old Testament;
Christian Ethics or Bioethics; Pathophysiology; Development Through the
Lifespan; and Introduction to Professional Nursing
14.Once I am accepted into the nursing program, what nursing courses will I be
Pharmacology; Nursing Competencies; Health Assessment; Pediatric Nursing;
Medical-Surgical Nursing I; Maternal Child Nursing; Mental Health Nursing;
Research in Nursing; Medical Surgical Nursing II; Community Health Nursing;
Integrated Nursing Practice; Gerontology Nursing; and Leading and Managing in
15.Is there an exit exam required in nursing?
Yes. There is a nationally normed comprehensive exam that is integrated into
coursework during the last semester prior to graduation. Scoring well on this exam is
necessary in order to obtain a passing score in the course. Most nursing schools use
some type of comprehensive standardized test for assessing student readiness for
taking the Registered Nurse licensing exam (NCLEX-RN).
16.When and where would I take the NCLEX-RN?
During the final semester prior to graduation, you will submit an application to take
the licensing exam to the Board of Nursing in the state where you will seek primary
licensure. Upon completion of graduation requirements, the Dean of the school of
nursing will submit an affidavit of graduation to the Board of Nursing in your chosen
state. You will then be approved to schedule and take the NCLEX-RN exam. It is
strongly recommended that you test as soon as possible after graduation. You may
test at any one of many testing centers located throughout the United States.
17.I don't have enough money to pay for school. Where can I find money?
Any Texas citizen can attend school in Texas very economically and receive financial
aid from a variety of sources. There are grants, scholarships, and loans available to
students. We recommend that you first visit with the financial aid office of any
university or college and complete the application for financial aid. Be proactive and
you will find the money. Some hospitals, geographic areas, and groups will pay for a
nurse's entire education in return for a guarantee that after graduation, time will be
paid back by working in their area or hospital. The US military has terrific incentives
for pre-nursing students.
Nursing and Allied Health Salary Comparisons
Role or Field Entry Level Salary Range
Dental Hygiene $29,000 - $42,000
Diagnostic Medical Sonography $37,440 - $41,600
Emergency Medical Services Profession $15,500 - $42,000
Health Information Technology $20,000 - $30,000
Human Services Addiction Counseling $24,000 - $26,000
Medical Transcription $20,000 - $30,000
Medical Laboratory Technology $28,954 - $35,526
Nursing, Associate and LVN to ADN Transition $37,400 - $60,000
Nursing, Vocational $31,200 - $37,440
Nursing, Registered Nurse (BSN) $53,000 - $63,000
Radiologic Technology $28,000 - $30,000
Respiratory Care $32,000 - $44,000
Surgical Technology $22,800 – $31,200
Vision Care Technology $15,700 - $32,500
Median Salary by Job - Degree: Bachelor of Science, Nursing (BSN) (United
Currency: USD | Updated: 10/21/2007 | Individuals reporting: 4,698