Associate In Nursing Application Requirements


It is important that all students are aware of the unique features of this online nursing program. Distance education is as challenging as face-to-face instruction, if not more so. The nursing component of the associate degree program requires outstanding critical thinking skills and nursing judgment, along with a commitment to academic rigor.

We are currently accepting applications to our Associate Degree in Nursing program from a limited number of states.

We are accepting applications to our Associate Degree in Nursing program for applicants from the following states:

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • West Virginia

We have verified with each named state’s board of nursing that graduates of Excelsior College Associate Degree in Nursing program will be able to apply for licensure in that state. We are currently not accepting applications from other states, until further notice.

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) has decided not to continue programmatic accreditation of Excelsior College’s Associate Degree in Nursing program. Excelsior College strongly disagrees with the decision made by ACEN and is pursuing an appeal.

We stand firmly behind the quality of this program and the success our more than 47,000 graduates have achieved. Today, many of our graduates are performing heroic work on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. We are absolutely committed to continuing to educate generations of highly qualified nurses dedicated to serving their communities, nation, and world.

However, while Excelsior College continues to be accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and our Associate Degree in Nursing is approved by the New York State Education Department, we believe it is prudent to pause enrollment of new Associate Degree in Nursing students on a state-by-state basis as we work to determine the implications of the ACEN action on eligibility for licensure in those states.

This notice will be updated as further information becomes available, please check back regularly.

Nursing theory changes: The faculty in the School of Nursing has approved moving the nursing theory and the competencies (FCCA) portions of the associate degree in nursing program (phases I, II, and III) to an online course-only format. Associate degree in nursing students admitted at Excelsior College on or after December 6, 2019, will register for online courses to meet their nursing theory and competencies requirements. These changes are part of a planned transformation of the associate degree in nursing program to strengthen curriculum and ensure graduates are prepared to work in contemporary health care environments. Current students are eligible to continue taking exams and the FCCA through June 30, 2021. The College will be in direct contact with current students individually to review their degree completion plans. This change does not affect the option to use UExcel exams to complete general education/arts and sciences requirements.

  • The Associate Degree in Nursing program is designed for LPNs, LVNs, paramedics, and certain classifications of active duty military, National Guard, or Reserves within specific military occupations with equivalent scope of practice to LPN/LVN or paramedic.
  • A student’s possession of an LPN, LVN, Paramedic, or Military Corpsmen credential does not guarantee success in the Associate Degree in Nursing program.
  • Excelsior College is not associated with, nor does it endorse, any external organization, external firm, or group that provides theoretical and clinical learning opportunities for students. Learning opportunities and resources are provided by the College and are described on our Test Preparation Advisory page.
  • The Associate Degree in Nursing program is designed for individuals with experience in clinical settings. There is limited clinical instruction provided in the Associate Degree in Nursing program. Students also will be required to demonstrate their clinical competence during the capstone performance examination, the Clinical Performance in Nursing Examination (CPNE) prior to graduation.
  • Students are required to submit a Verification of Health Care Experience Form signed by a clinical supervisor at the time of admission and again prior to course approval for Competencies for Contemporary Nursing Practice.
  • Students enrolled in the Associate Degree in Nursing program are assigned a primary academic advisor, but may also work with different members of the academic advisement team during their enrollment.
  • The wait time to test at each CPNE site varies depending on application volume at each site. Students who do not pass the CPNE will be required to retake the exam and as a result, likely will extend the timeline for graduation. Review statistics about the average wait time.
  • Repeating any Excelsior College sources of credit will require students to pay the tuition and/or fees that are associated with that requirement. This includes the CPNE application fee, travel, and lodging for each administration of the CPNE. Students will be responsible for paying the Student Services Annual Fee for each year they continue in the Associate Degree in Nursing program.
  • Students who fail the CPNE (either the three-day CPNE or the split pilot CPNE version) will be required to retake the entire version that was failed.
  • A student’s success or failure in completing program requirements (including all Excelsior College sources of credit) will affect their progress through the Associate Degree in Nursing program. The time limit for completion of the associate degree is seven years.
  • During the CPNE, Excelsior will seek to provide each student with a pediatric patient, however, an adult patient may be substituted if an appropriate pediatric patient is not available.
  • Pass rates for the CPNE and the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN) are updated and available on the Excelsior College website.
  • Because each institution of higher education maintains its own credit transfer policy, credits earned in Excelsior’s Associate Degree in Nursing program may or may not be transferable to other institutions.
  • Excelsior College is appealing a recent decision by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) to deny continued programmatic accreditation of the Associate Degree in Nursing program. During the appeal process, ACEN accreditation remains in place. In the event that the College is not successful, the effective date of the decision to deny continued accreditation could be as early as April 20, 2020. Loss of ACEN accreditation could impact the ability to practice in certain states. Regardless of the outcome of the appeal with ACEN, Excelsior College continues to be accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the Associate Degree in Nursing program remains approved by the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions. Students should be aware that some employers and higher education institutions may require graduation from a nursing program with specialty accreditation as a condition of employment or acceptance to a nursing program.
  • Students are responsible for reading and understanding the RN licensure requirements in the state they hope to practice in following graduation or if considering relocation. Students may consult with the State Board team and the State Board Requirements web page for current information regarding eligibility for RN licensure in each state and U.S. jurisdiction.
  • Students are encouraged to read the School of Nursing catalog  prior to enrolling in a program of study.


You’re eligible to apply for admission to the associate programs in nursing if you:

  • Hold a practical/vocational nurse, paramedic license, or are in a certain classification of active duty military, National Guard, or Reserves within a specific military occupation that is equivalent to scope of practice to LPN/LVN or paramedic. Learn more.
  • Are employed in a setting that requires direct patient care, under the supervision of someone with a health care credential who evaluates your clinical practice.
  • Completed 200 or more hours of employment in this setting within the calendar year prior to the date you submit your Verification of Health Care Experience.


Before you apply, you must complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) and have achieved the minimum TEAS scores outlined below. Your TEAS score report from ATI must be completed within one year prior to the date of your application.  Review the TEAS requirement details.


When you apply, you need to submit a completed Verification of Health Care Experience Form (VHCE). This form requires a signature from your supervisor (the person with a health care credential who evaluates your clinical practice).

You can submit this form with your online application or you can scan and send it by email to or by fax to 518-464-8833. You must submit it within 3 months after the date your supervisor signs it, and a new form will be required before entering phase three of the program.


In addition, you’ll need to submit a copy of your current health care license or certification to verify your professional status in an appropriate health care profession.


You are required to read the form Important Information Regarding the Associate Degree in Nursing Program and acknowledge your understanding by downloading, signing, dating, and returning it as part of your application.

  • Review the information, including visiting the links provided in the form
  • Sign and date the form
  • Email it to or fax it to 518-464-8833


If you reside in a state with additional nursing licensure requirements, you also must submit a signed Pre-Admission State Board form.

Check if your state falls into this category below. If it does, complete the form for your state to acknowledge you understand the additional requirements for where you currently reside and/or where you plan to apply for RN licensure. Then scan and send it by email to or by fax to 518-464-8833. Learn more.


We are not accepting applicants to the associate, bachelor’s, or RN to MS nursing degree programs who reside in the state of Washington.


During the admissions process you’ll create a MyExcelsior account if you don’t already have one. The admission application fee is $50.

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