JMU School of Nursing’s graduate programs use a holistic admissions process that assesses an applicant’s unique experiences alongside traditional measures of academic achievement such as grades (AACN December 2020 White Paper on Holistic Admissions)

The Two-Part Application Process

  1. Apply to The Graduate School
  2. Apply to NURSINGCAS
    • Submit all required documents to NursingCAS
    • Submit a personal statement and professional goals.
    • Provide a Resume/CV outlining education, relevant work experience, community service or volunteer activities, and leadership or professional engagement experience.
    • Provide two (2) professional recommendations that attest to the applicant's academic ability, professional competency, and personal character.
    • Provide official transcripts from all post-secondary schools where college credit was earned, not just degree-granting institutions.
    • Please DO NOT submit required documents within the JMU Graduate School application.
    • Applicants are responsible for ensuring all documents, including professional recommendations, have been submitted. 
    • All applicants are encouraged to submit their applications to NursingCAS at least 4 weeks prior to the deadline listed or the desired enrollment period, as it can take up to 4-6 weeks for NursingCAS to receive and verify applicant transcripts. Please do not wait on transcripts to be received by NursingCAS before submitting your application. This will help to ensure that your application is reviewed in a timely manner.

Criminal Background & Sexual Offender Checks

The JMU School of Nursing Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs are graduate-level, clinical programs. Based on Code of Virginia § 23.1-407.1 (, the James Madison University School of Nursing (SON) Program will not deny admission to any applicant solely on the basis of criminal history. However, for any applicant who has been admitted, but not yet enrolled, the Graduate Programs may inquire about the applicant’s criminal history. The Graduate Program may then withdraw an offer of admission to anyone whom James Madison University determines has a criminal history that poses a threat to the institution’s community. Therefore, for individuals admitted to the JMU SON Graduate Programs:

  • It is required that a criminal background and sexual offender check be completed.
  • These must be completed prior to enrollment. Additional checks may be required later in the Program, just prior to the start of fieldwork.
  •  The student must comply with these additional checks in order to remain a student in good standing within the Program and before clinical placement can take place.
  • The cost of these background checks will be the sole responsibility of the student.

It is imperative for prospective students to understand that depending on the information appearing on the criminal history record, it is possible that the student may not be able to participate in a clinical site practicum, which will prevent progression in the program. Students may seek placement at alternative sites; however, it is possible that program completion would be in jeopardy if all fieldwork cannot be completed.

Admission to the Master of Science in Nursing Degree Program is Competitive.

Ideal candidates demonstrate academic excellence and can clearly articulate an understanding of the role for which they are applying. The admissions committee reviews each application and considers the potential success of the applicant in a graduate program that requires intellectual curiosity and critical thought.

To be considered for admission to the program prospective students must:

  • Apply to the Graduate School ( and NursingCAS.
  • Students applying for the Nurse Midwifery or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner will need to also apply and meet the Shenandoah University requirements.
  • Have a bachelor's degree in nursing or another field*, with a cumulative GPA of 2.8.(3.0 preferred for AGPCNP and FNP; 3.0 required for Psychiatric/Mental Health NP and Nurse Midwifery applicants)
  • Hold a current unrestricted Registered Nurse License. For APRN concentrations hold a current unrestricted Virginia RN license or an RN license from a compact state.
  • Have relevant professional clinical experience (Applicants for the NP program need the equivalent of one full time year of patient care experience as a Registered Nurse prior to beginning the program).
  • Have taken undergraduate or graduate course in Statistics with a grade of C or higher.
  • Hold current CPR certification
  • Meet the School's technical standards for admission.
  • For international students, you will need to pass the CGFNS Exam (both parts), apply for Virginia R.N. License, and have either: an IELTS score of 7, Duoling score of 105, or TOEFL score of 80 or higher. Contact program director for more information. Additional documentation will be required upon admission.

After review of applications in NursingCAS, top candidates will be contacted for an interview. Interviews for NP and NMW applicants will be held in January.

For questions or additional information about the MSN Program, please email

* A transcript analysis will be completed on all students who have an associate degree in nursing (ADN) from an accredited nursing program and an undergraduate baccalaureate degree in another field to determine any gaps in meeting the Essentials of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. During this transcript review, the plan of study may include up to 11 extra credits.

Program Application Deadlines

  • Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwifery applications are due on December 1. Applications submitted after the December 1 deadline may be considered based on merit and availability in the program. Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwifery program applicant interviews will be held in January.
  • Nurse Administrator and Clinical Nurse Leader applications are due on March 15 for fall admission and December 1 for spring admission.

Admission Information for International Graduate Students

TOEFL Requirement

International students educated in a basic program where English is not the language of instruction must achieve at least a 570 score on the TOEFL (paper test), 230 (computer score) or 88 (internet-based test).

Foreign Transcripts

Transcripts from outside of the United States must be evaluated prior to admission into the nursing program. You may request a credential Evaluation service application packet from the World Education Service (WES) from or call (212) 966-6311
When completing the application, you should request the full nursing education course-by-course report.

Commission on Graduate of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS)

The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) is a non-profit, internationally recognized leader in the education, registration, and licensure of healthcare professionals worldwide. CGFNS protects the public in relation to evolving healthcare policies and standards of professional practice for migrating healthcare professionals.

CGFNS was established as a non-profit, immigration neutral organization with a commitment to protect the public by ensuring that nurses educated in countries other than the United States are eligible and qualified to meet licensure and other practice requirements in the USA. Throughout its history, CGFNS has demonstrated its commitment to excellence and quality in healthcare arena and fostering equitable treatment of healthcare professionals.

For additional information about CGFNS Contact:

Phone: (215)349-8767
Fax: (215)349-0026
Mailing Address: P.O Box 8628, Philadelphia, PA 19104-8628 USA.

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