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Applicants to the Citizens School of Nursing must meet established criteria for acceptance and admission.

All current admission criteria are published on the school website. All applicants must be able to perform the essential functions of a student nurse with or without reasonable accommodation. Criminal background and record clearance, child abuse clearance and fingerprinting, urine drug screen and immunizations are required prior to enrollment.

Applicants should be aware that certain felony convictions may make them ineligible for state licensure. Therefore an individual may be ineligible to work as a registered nurse. The Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing reserves the right to deny licensure based upon the applicants criminal history, even if that individual has completed the nursing program.

Each applicant is to be aware that conviction of a felony prior to or during the course of the educational program may result in the denial of licensure by the State Board of Nursing.

Quick guide to admission

Criteria for admission


In accordance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Professional and Vocational Standards- State Board of Nursing Section 21.01, applicants shall have completed work equal to a standard high school course with a minimum of 16 units:

  • English – 4 units
  • Social Studies – 3 units
  • Mathematics – 2 units (1 unit of Algebra required)
  • Science – 2 units with a related laboratory (Biology and Chemistry preferred)

If the applicant does not meet the standard high school science requirements, they will be required to complete two science courses with related laboratory before being considered for admission.

In lieu of a High School diploma, a certificate of completion of a general educational development (GED) will be accepted. An original copy of the GED certificate is required.

Standardized testing

All applicants, regardless of educational background must take the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). The TEAS is a national standardized test which provides information regarding an applicant’s academic preparedness for nursing school.

There are four sections to the test including Reading, Math, Science and English. Each section must be completed to obtain a total adjusted individual score.

The preferred adjusted individual total score is 65%. An individual MUST score an overall of 62% or better to be considered for admission.

Testing is offered on the campus of Citizens School of Nursing. Testing may also be completed at an alternative testing center.

TEAS Scores within two years of application will be accepted. Applicants may attempt the TEAS three times within one application year.

Application procedure and requirements

Step 1: Complete an application

Apply online for admission to Citizens School of Nursing in affiliation with Penn State University and Westmoreland County Community College both New Kensington, PA Campuses.

  • Complete all elements of the application.
  • All applications require a $50 non-refundable fee. Applications will not be processed until required fee is submitted.

Step 2: Register for and take the ATI-TEAS Test

Testing is offered on the campus of Citizens School of Nursing. Testing may also be completed at an alternative testing center.

Testing on Allegheny Health Network Campuses:

  • Contact the admissions office to register for the on-site examination
  • All applicants are required to pay a $75.00 entrance examination fee. This fee must be paid no later than five (5) days prior your schedule testing date.
  • All applicants are eligible to retake the examination once. The applicant must register and pay an additional test fee of $75.00 in order to retake the examination.

Step 3: Submit required transcripts / proof of eligibility to study at the post- secondary level

  • Official copy of High School Transcript including required course work and date of graduation.
  • In lieu of a High School diploma, an original copy of the GED certificate with test scores.
  • Post-secondary education transcripts
    • Official transcripts must be submitted for all prior post-secondary education completed. This includes any college, university, nursing, technical and/or vocational program. An official transcript is one that is sign, bears the seal of the institution, and it is mail directly from the institution to Citizens School of Nursing.

Step 4: Submit letters of recommendation

Download reference form and complete a minimum of two (2) references. Recommended individuals providing references include: managers, coworkers, clergy members or teachers. References from relatives will not be accepted.

Admissions Office
Citizens School of Nursing
539 Pittsburgh Mills Circle
Tarentum, PA 15084
Tel: (724) 367-2382

Citizenship and language requirements

Applicants must be citizens of the United States or have Permanent Resident status with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Applicants for whom English is a second language must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). This test measures the ability of the person to use and understand North American English.

Foreign-educated students who submit an official transcript translated by a recognized agency that offers foreign credentials evaluation services are to obtain a Certificate of Preliminary Education (CPE) from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Transfer credits

In order to be eligible for transfer, students must provide an official transcript with evidence of course completion and grade from college and/or university for consideration. A course must be comparable in content, credit(s) and/or contact hours. Course descriptions and syllabi may be required to determine whether courses are acceptable for transfer. Acceptable substitutes for required courses are determined by Penn State University.

Courses for transfer must meet the following criteria:

  • Courses be completed at an institution accredited by a regional or national accrediting association for colleges and universities.
  • A Grade of "C" or better attained in the course.
  • Anatomy and Physiology I & II must be completed at the same institution.
  • Anatomy and Physiology I & II and Microbiology must have been completed within seven years of prospective admission.
  • Anatomy and Physiology I & II and Microbiology must have a laboratory component to be considered for transfer.
  • Nursing courses from other schools of nursing are not accepted for transfer.

Transfer credit may be given for Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations for High School General Psychology. Evidence of AP Examination Score must be provided from the College Board with a minimum score of 3.

High school and college and/or university transcripts from a foreign country must be translated and evaluated for U.S. course equivalency by a translation and evaluation service acceptable to the Citizens School of Nursing. Cost for this service is the responsibility of the applicant.

Any transfer of credit granted to the student will be considered attempted and earned prior to admission. The transfer of credit will not apply to the student’s overall grade point average (GPA). The student will be notified of acceptance of credits in writing prior to the start of the program.

Citizens School of Nursing provides no guarantee that credits earned while enrolled will transfer to another educational institution.

Anatomy and Physiology I, Anatomy and Physiology II, and Microbiology credits may not be older than 7 years on the day of acceptance.