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Nursing Theory Completion Options: Tabbed Content

Nursing Theory Series Completion Options

The nursing theory series includes 8 requirements across Phases I and II of the associate curriculum. You'll need to finish the first phase before starting the second.

You can meet these requirements by taking Excelsior's online nursing courses, Nursing Theory Conference Exams (NTCX), or Excelsior College® Examinations (ECE). These options are interchangeable so you may select any or all options to complete the requirement.

Phase I

  • Essentials of Nursing Care: Health Differences
  • Essentials of Nursing Care: Health Safety
  • Foundations in Nursing Practice
  • Transition to the Professional Nurse Role

Phase II 

  • Health Differences Across the Life Span 1
  • Health Differences Across the Life Span 2
  • Health Differences Across the Life Span 3
  • Reproductive Health

Completion Options

Before signing up for nursing theory options, speak with your academic advisor to make sure you've met all of the prerequisites and gained approval to register.

Online courses provide 8 weeks of learning led by a faculty member. You'll complete assignments, participate in discussions, and take quizzes and two comprehensive exams. Each course requires about 18 hours of academic activity per week. 

How to Register for Online Nursing Courses

  1. Browse upcoming nursing course offerings.
  2. Review term start dates and registration deadlines.
  3. Obtain your advisor's approval to take the courses you want.
  4. Register for your course(s) and purchase required textbooks.

Note: Seating Is Limited

If you receive approval before course registration for the upcoming trimester you'll be invited to register for your courses according to the number of nursing credits you've earned; the student with the most credit is offered the first seat, and so on. As you earn more credit, your odds of securing a seat will increase.

First invitations are sent through the Student Information System (SIS) message center at 12:01 am (ET) on the day course registration opens. Invitations expire 48 hours after the time stamp on the notification message. No extensions are granted. For more information, refer to the Student Policy Handbook.

If you want the flexibility of ECE exams, but prefer the structure of term-based courses, the NTCX hybrid learning experience may be a good fit for you.

This option offers facilitated preparation for nursing theory exams over 8 weeks. During this time, you’ll participate in discussions, take self-check quizzes, evaluate case studies, and receive faculty feedback.

If you meet participation requirements, two weeks prior to the end of the term you’ll receive authorization to schedule your exam at a PearsonVue testing center during the last week of your conference.

When you sign up for an NTCX, you’ll need to complete substantial reading before it begins. Once it starts, you can expect to spend 12 hours on academic activity per week. For more information, refer to the Student Policy Handbook.

How to Sign Up for NTCX Options

  1. Choose from upcoming NTCX offerings. Select filter: Nursing [NURCX].
  2. Review term start dates and registration deadlines.
  3. Obtain your advisor's approval to sign up for the conferences you want.
  4. Register and review the appropriate exam content guides.
  5. Purchase your textbooks and complete all or most of the required reading (noted in the content guides) prior to the start of the NTCX.

If you want to study independently, you can simply register for Excelsior College Exams (ECEs) to fulfill your nursing theory requirements. You'll learn the required material outlined in the content guide on your own schedule with about 135 hours of study for each exam.

How to Sign Up for Excelsior's Nursing Theory Exams

  1. Review your exam options.
  2. Obtain your advisor's approval to register for the ECEs you want to take in the next trimester.
  3. Review the content guides for your approved exams.
  4. Purchase required textbooks and complete assigned readings..
  5. Register for your nursing theory exam.
  6. Once you receive an Authorization to Test (ATT) letter, schedule a date to take your exam at a PearsonVUE testing center during the trimester for which you registered.

For more information, refer to the Student Policy Handbook.

Important Info About Test Preparation Providers

Beware of Test Preparation Providers!

Excelsior College does not contract with or endorse the services of, or study materials sold by, any test preparation providers. Be cautious of anyone selling test preparation services or materials; whatever they may say to you, they are not affiliated with Excelsior College. As an enrolled student, you'll be guided to the right learning resources and services. Learn more.

Nursing Associate tuition and aid info

Planning to apply for financial aid?

If you take at least 6 credits of online nursing courses and/or NTCXs in a given term, you're eligible to pay your tuition with federal student aid. For tuition costs, visit the tuition and aid page. Excelsior College Exams are not eligible for federal aid.

To apply for financial aid: submit your FAFSA, receive course approval, and then complete your financial aid study plan before the first day of course registration. The financial aid team requires 7-10 days to package an offer once your financial aid study plan is submitted.

Check your MyExcelsior messages and email for alerts from the financial aid team regarding the status of your financial aid package and/or award letter. If you haven't accepted a financial aid package before course registration opens, you'll need to provide another form of payment to secure a seat in your course(s). You may be reimbursed if afterward you accept a financial aid package.

For more information, speak with a financial aid counselor at 855-323-9235.

Catalog: Nursing

Nursing Catalog

Review degree requirements, learning outcomes, course descriptions, and more in the Nursing Catalog.

Accreditation: Nursing Specialized Accreditation

Specialized Nursing Accreditation

The associate, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in nursing at Excelsior College are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly known as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). The ACEN is a specialized accrediting agency for nursing recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Road, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326

Recognition: Nursing

Center of Excellence in Nursing Education

The National League for Nursing (NLN) designated Excelsior College's School of Nursing a 2016-2021 Center of Excellence in Nursing Education, for the fourth consecutive time, in recognition of the School's sustained achievements in creating environments that promote student learning and professional development.

Institutional Accreditation heading block

Institutional Accreditation

Institutional Accreditation universal content block

Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

All of Excelsior College's academic programs are registered (i.e., approved) by the New York State Education Department.

Transparency at Excelsior

Transparency at Excelsior Link