2019-2020 Catalog

Requirements and Information about the Associate of Science Nursing Program

The ASN program is designed to provide the entry-level skills and knowledge needed to obtain licensure and work as a Registered Nurse. The ASN program is approved by the Montana State Board of Nursing (301 South Park, 4th Floor P.O. Box 200513, Helena, MT 59620-0513 Phone: (406) 841-2340, http://bsd.dli.mt.gov)

ASN Program Admission Requirements

Students interested in applying to the ASN program must notify their academic advisor early in their advising process to ensure that course sequencing meets Nursing Program admission requirements. The Certificate of Completion in Health Science Studies is designed to include the ASN pre-requisite courses as well as provide excellent preparation for the Nursing Program. Transfer students should consult with a pre-Nursing advisor and the Enrollment Services as soon as possible to ensure that the courses completed at another college or university meet the SKC and Nursing Program requirements and will be accepted.

Admission into the Nursing Program is based on the completion of the pre-requisite courses, grade point average (GPA), Nursing School Admission Test score, Native American preference status, veteran’s priority of service status, applicant interview, and instructors’ references. Additional preference will be given to applicants who have previously successfully completed a healthcare-related certificate or degree program (CNA, MA, LPN, PTA, etc.) and/or have at least 6 months of work experience in a related position. 

Students considering pursuing the ASN degree are strongly advised to take biology, chemistry, and/or Anatomy and Physiology courses in high school or complete BIOS 108/109, Biology of Living Systems and CHEM 110/111, Fundamentals of General Chemistry prior to enrolling in BIOS 215/216, Anatomy and Physiology I, and/or complete the Health Science Studies Certificate of Completion.

Prerequisite Courses

Students must complete the following prerequisite courses before applying to the ASN Program:

BIOS215Human Anatomy and Physiology I


BIOS216Human Anatomy & Physiology I Laboratory


BIOS217Human Anatomy & Physiology II


BIOS218Human Anatomy & Physiology II Laboratory


ENGL101English Composition I


IDST101SKC Seminar


PSYC110Introduction to Psychology



ENGL202English Composition II



ENGL203Technical Writing for STEM Majors



MATH 103Contemporary Math



MATH100College Algebra


Grade Requirements

  • Achieve a “B” or better in MATH 100 or 103, BIOS 215, BIOS 216, BIOS 217, and BIOS 218
  • Achieve a “C” or better in PSYC 110, ENGL 101 and ENGL 202 or ENGL 203
  • A & P and math courses cannot be older than five (5) years by the anticipated program start date.
    • If MATH 103 or an equivalent transfer course (e.g. MATH 100) was completed more than five years ago with a “B” or better, the ASN candidate may complete the math competency assessment test in lieu of repeating the course. The test will be arranged by the SKC Nursing Department. If the candidate successfully completes the test with 70% or higher, the original course grade will be accepted. If the test does not demonstrate an acceptable level of competence, the candidate must repeat the course before applying to the ASN Program. 
  • Prerequisite courses cannot be taken more than a total of three (3) times to achieve an acceptable grade.

Nursing School Admission Test Requirements

The Nursing School Kaplan Admission Test assesses whether a student has the necessary academic skills in basic reading, writing, math, science and critical thinking to succeed in the Nursing Program. The mastery of decimal to fraction conversions, ratios, and proportions, and knowledge of anatomy and physiology are essential. A thorough review of these topics prior to taking the test is very highly recommended.

The Nursing School Admission Test instructions will be emailed to applicants who meet the admission criteria listed above. The test must be completed by 12 p.m. on June 1th.

  • Student must achieve a minimum overall score of 70% in order to be considered for admission.

Native American Preference Policy

SKC does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual identification, gender, age or disability, except as allowed by the Indian Preference provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. Consistent with this provision and the mission of the college, the Nursing Program gives preference to enrolled tribal members and descendants traceable to the second generation during the admissions process.

Veteran’s Priority of Service Policy

The requirement to provide priority of service to veterans applies to all programs that receive funding from the United States Department of Labor. “Veteran” is defined as a person who served at least one day in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. The Veteran’s Priority of Service Policy is available at the Nursing Department upon request.

ASN Program Application Process

Students must apply to SKC before applying to the Nursing Program. Students may apply online at www.skc.edu or send the SKC application packet to the SKC Enrollment Services, P.O. Box 70, Pablo, MT 59855.

The ASN application packet is due by 4:30 p.m. on May 1st. The following documents must be included in the application:

  • ASN Application form
  • Copies of unofficial transcripts verifying all college coursework completed to date
  • Tribal membership verification (if applicable)
  • Two letters of reference. At least one reference must be completed by an instructor in an ASN pre-requisite course (A & P I and II, English Composition, Psychology, and/or Math). If currently employed in a healthcare related position (e.g. CNA), the immediate supervisor may complete the second reference. Please complete part I of the form before submitting to an instructor or supervisor.

Download the ASN Application and Professional Letter of Reference for Nursing Program Applicant forms at nursing.skc.edu. Please mail, fax, or email the completed application packet materials directly to the Nursing Department. Mail: Attn: Admissions, Nursing Department, Salish Kootenai College, PO Box 70, Pablo, MT 59855 Fax: (406) 275-4806 Email: nursingadmissions@skc.edu

The following additional documentation must be completed and received by the Enrollment Services by 12 p.m. on June 15th.  Please mail the documents directly to the SKC Enrollment Services, P.O. Box 70, Pablo, MT 59855.

  • All official college transcripts that verify the pre-requisite course completion, including the courses completed between May 1st and June 14th.
  • Tribal membership verification.
  • Official copy of high school transcript or GED.
  • Immunization records.
  • Other required SKC admissions documentation.

Completion of the application process and prerequisite coursework does not guarantee admission into the Nursing Program.

Confirmation of Acceptance

To confirm the acceptance into the Nursing Program and to be eligible to enroll in nursing courses, the following requirements must be met:

  • All documents contained in the acceptance packet must be completed and returned to the Nursing Department by August 1, 2019. If these documents are not received in the Nursing Department by August 1, the student will forfeit their admission and a student on the waitlist will be offered the placement in the nursing program.
      • Admission Acceptance Disclaimer form.
      • Health Form documenting health status, immunizations, skin tests, and ability to meet physical and mental essential abilities criteria for nursing practice. Immunizations are required by clinical agencies; therefore, strict adherence to immunization deadlines will be enforced.
      • Documentation of health insurance, IHS beneficiary status, Medicaid, or Medicare coverage.
      • A copy of a driver’s license or a legal identification (must show photo) document such as passport.
      • Copy of current Healthcare Provider CPR card. Must be current through June 15, 2020.
      • Nametag and embroidery order forms.
      • The criminal background check must be completed.
  • Students are required to attend the mandatory Nursing Institute.
  • Failure to meet any of the above-listed requirements will change student’s acceptance status to non-acceptance status in the Nursing Program.

ASN Program Acceptance Process

Students are admitted into the Nursing Program once a year in fall quarter. Enrollment in the Nursing Program is limited based on availability of clinical facilities and faculty.

  • Incomplete application packets (missing required documents or prerequisites) will not be considered for admissions.
  • The Nursing Department will begin screening all completed applications after May 1, 2019.
  • Selection of ASN applicants will be completed by June 20, 2019.
  • Students receive written notification of acceptance status and the acceptance packet by July 1, 2019.


In addition to SKC tuition and fees, nursing students have significant costs including laboratory, program fees, textbooks, uniforms, name tag, health insurance, background checks, drug screens, and clinical travel. RN licensure expenses include the NCLEX-RN exam fee and travel to the testing site.

Clinical Laboratories

Nursing coursework includes interactive learning activities in the classroom, independent study, campus practice lab, and clinical practice in a variety of institutional and community based health care settings. One lab credit hour represents three contact hours. Clinical facilities are located in Ronan, Polson, Plains, Kalispell, Missoula, and other western Montana communities. Overnight stays in various communities may be necessary throughout the program. Clinical labs may be scheduled on days, evenings, nights, or on weekends. During the last quarter of the program, students participate in preceptorships, following the work schedules of RN preceptors. Students are responsible for housing and transportation to and from clinical facilities.

Nursing Department Policies

Due to the unique nature of the nursing profession, the Nursing Department maintains policies in addition to those of the college. The policies are available in the ASN Student Handbook. Examples include admission, progression, professional behavior, and grading policies.

Additional Requirements for Licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN)

Completion of the Associate of Science in Nursing is not the sole criteria for obtaining a license to practice as a registered nurse. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (ncsbn.org) publishes requirements by state. The Montana Nurse Practice Act authorizes the State Board of Nursing (http://mt.gov/dli/nur/) to set requirements for RN Licensure in Montana. Requirements for licensure include:

  • Graduation from an approved school of nursing.
  • A passing score on the NCLEX-RN, the national licensing exam.
  • The capacity to maintain the professional code of nursing practice.
Licensure may be denied to graduates/nurses who demonstrate:
  • Fraudulent information or misrepresentation in the licensing application or exam.
  • Active history of substance abuse/chemical dependency
  • Failure to maintain the professional conduct of nurses.
  • Conviction of a crime that relates adversely to the practice of nursing.