Can nursing school credits be transferred?

Can Nursing School Credits Be Transferred?

For many college students, credits that won’t transfer are like a nightmare come true. No one wants to see their efforts squandered.

And yet one third of students choose to transfer colleges at least once during their academic careers according to a 2015 study.

Research compiled by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows that from the 3.6 million college students surveyed nationwide — who started their undergraduate schooling in 2008 —  about 37 percent transferred between colleges. And among the students who chose to transfer, about 45 percent decided to change schools more than once.

Given these numbers, today’s students could be considered “transfer happy” compared to previous generations of college students. No doubt, many of these students found colleges that would accept their credits from other similar programs, allowing them to transfer previous coursework and receive full or partial credit for their previous academic accomplishments.

And, it’s also possible that a great many of these students decided to transfer to new schools and received nothing for the previous courses they’d taken. That means the time, effort and expense was all but wasted for no academic credit whatsoever.

If you’re a nursing student and you’ve given some thought to switching colleges, then you likely want to avoid wasting your time and money. There’s probably a big question on your mind: Can nursing school credits be transferred?

Four things you need to know about transferring credits

Before making the decision to leave one college for another, you need to take every precaution possible to ensure your credits transfer and you receive credit for your efforts. Here are four things you need to know about transferring credits:


  • Choose wisely – Some colleges are far more selective than others about what courses they will allow you to transfer. Usually the more esteemed the college, the less likely they are to allow you to transfer large amounts of credit. This is not always the case, but consider it a decent barometer. Research your options well and find a college that is open to credit transfers.


  • Speak to someone who knows – Talk with someone who can speak specifically to your situation. Pick up your phone and dial the admissions office and ask to visit with someone who can tell you if your credits will transfer. Don’t rely on a sentence or two you read on a college’s website. Make sure you ask a human being directly about the school you are leaving and whether they count your credits toward their nursing degrees.


  • Setting limits – Some colleges set a limit on how many credits you can transfer, no matter what institution from which you are transferring. In effect, they want students to take as many courses affiliated with their nursing programs as possible – to ensure the education you receive represents their school’s instruction, not another’s. If you have a large load of classes to transfer, you might avoid these types of schools altogether.


  • Know your school – What’s the track record for transferring credits at your college? Someone in the admissions office can tell you if other schools are readily willing to accept credits from your school. But be prepared. If your current school has a poor reputation for academia, it’s likely few to none of your courses will be accepted elsewhere. A poor reputation might also make it tough for you to have your choice of nursing careers.

Make sure it's what you want!

Probably the biggest key to changing colleges is being certain it’s a move you want to make. Of course, you want as many of your credits to transfer as possible, but it’s much easier to accept credits being refused if you’re certain you are making the right move in the first place.

If you decide to take the step to switch schools, you want to be certain you receive as much credit for your previous work as possible so you can begin applying to nursing jobs sooner. Research your options, choose colleges wisely and there’s no question you will feel you made the best decision for you!

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