Nursing Program Application Process FAQ | GCTC

Nursing Program Application Process FAQ for Fall 2023 Cohort

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the nursing program application process and acceptance including:

  • Application Schedule & Process
  • Nursing Program Ready to Apply Conference Dates
  • NLN RN Pre-admission Exam (PAX)
  • Pre-requisite Courses
  • Background Checks, Drug Screens, and Medical Requirements
  • NSG 101 Schedule for Those Accepted

What do I need to know to apply?

  1. You will need to attend a mandatory Ready-to-Apply Conference which begins in April. You will receive a link to schedule a Ready-to-Apply 1-on-1 with Jennifer Wong, which will begin in May. 
  2. At the 1-on-1 with Jennifer, you will review your application requirements, grades, GPA, and points awarded based on each criterion. 
  3. You can only apply if you meet ALL the requirements, including the PAX exam, by Monday, May 15, 2023. Applications are due no later than Tuesday, May 23, 2023. (Information on the mandatory PAX test, including how to register, what is on it, study resources, and recommended scores are listed below.)
  4. After the 1-on-1 with Jennifer Wong, you will gather your materials and submit them to the live the online application (link provided at 1-on-1), where you will complete a checklist and finalize your application. Applications are due no later than Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
  5. Information on the mandatory PAX test, including how to register, what is on it, study resources, and recommended scores are listed below.

Application Schedule and Process

  • All pre-requisite classes completed before application deadline with a grade of C or better.
  • Retain active KY STNA and CPR-BLS Provider certifications.
  • Completed PAX exam (recommended score of 50 or higher in all areas)
  • Attendance at Ready-to-Apply Conference and 1-on-1 with Pre-Nursing Enrollment Advisor, Jennifer Wong
  • Submission of required application documentation.
Applicants are chosen by a Selective Admission process.

Prospective applicants will receive their materials after attending a mandatory Ready-to-Apply Conference and the mandatory Ready-to-Apply 1-on-1 with Jennifer Wong. 

  • The Conference is approximately an hour-long session and there are several of them offered throughout the 4-week period leading up to the application deadline. They are offered at different times and days, as well as virtual, to allow for student to attend. 
After the 1-on-1, students will receive a link via email to apply. This will only be sent to students who have attended the Ready-to-Apply Conference and 1-on-1.

Yes. If you are applying for a Fall 2023 cohort, the last day to take the PAX is Monday, May 22, 2023.

NOTE: For more information about the PAX, review the NLN RN PRE-ADMISSION EXAM (PAX) section of this document.

The decision letters will be sent in June. NOTE: Application schedule is subject to change.

Nursing Ready-to-Apply Conferences

These sessions will detail the admissions process and prepare students for success in the Nursing program. The conference is held by current Nursing faculty and advisors and is meant to ensure that applicants understand every aspect of the admissions process and have a better understanding of what to expect in the program should they be admitted. Applications will only be available at the end of the conference.

Dates begin in April and will continue into May.

  • Wednesday, April 12, 2023 at 3:45pm (Edgewood, NAHSC, Rm 206 or Virtual)
  • Wednesday, April 19, 2023 at 6:00pm (Edgewood, NAHSC, Rm 206 or Virtual)
  • Monday, May 1, 2023 at 11:00am (Edgewood, NAHSC, Rm 208 or Virtual)
  • Tuesday, May 9, 2023 at 12:00pm (Edgewood, NAHSC, Rm 208 or Virtual)
  • Monday, May 15, 2023 at 4:15pm (Edgewood, NAHSC, Rm 208 or Virtual)

It is preferred, that you RSVP so we can plan for your attendance. Reservations are not required. 

To RSVP for an upcoming session, register here.

Please make all possible effort to attend a conference. In the event that you absolutely cannot attend, please e-mail the Health Professions Division at

Students must attend a full session in order to receive credit for being there. If the student is late or leaves early, they must attend another session to obtain all of the content.

Final decisions to be made by the Director of Nursing and/or Dean of Health Professions. 

Yes, you still have to attend a session.

NLN RN Pre-Admission Exam (PAX)

This pre-admission exam tests pre-nursing students on high school-level knowledge in the following areas: Verbal, Math, and Science. We suggest that all students take a practice PAX. Resources are offered through our library.  
While there is no required minimum score, to be a competitive applicant, we suggest an RN percentile score of 50 or higher comprehensive and in the three subject areas. 

Schedule your NLN RN PAX (National League for Nursing RN Pre-Admission Exam) by:

  1. Clicking this link:
  2. In the “Choose a group” dropdown, select “NLN RN PAX”
  3. In the “Choose an exam” dropdown, select “NLN RN PAX ($70.00)”

The rest of the requirements are self-explanatory. You’ll select your test date, time, enter personal info, pay, etc.

Students have at least two resources to help them brush up on material covered in the PAX.

Yes, students are allowed to retake the PAX as many times as they would like, but there must be at least two (2) weeks in between attempts.
Contact us at; financial assistance may be available. Please seek this option if you truly need it – this is a limited fund.

Students take the PAX at the Boone Campus Assessment Center.

500 Technology Way, Florence, KY 41042

Pre-admissions testing is very common with nursing programs. Since admittance into the program is a selective process, the Selective Admission Committee needs all the relevant academic data for an applicant that they can get in order to assess strengths and weaknesses.  Our data shows that students who score low on the PAX have a lower success rate in the Nursing Program. Students that score an RN Percentile Rank of 50 or higher on the PAX have better odds of being able to keep up with nursing content. Think of the data we collect as your academic resume. The better your grades, GPA, and PAX scores are, and the more co-requisite classes you have completed, the more qualified you are for the role of the nursing student.

If you have taken the NLN RN PAX with Gateway since May 2022, you are welcome to reuse your scores if you would like. It is recommended that students strive to achieve at least a RN Percentile Rank of 50.

Yes, all applicants are reviewed thoroughly by the Selective Admission Committee. A score lower than 50% does not disqualify an applicant.

No. The test must be taken at Gateway for your scores to be used.

Login into the NLN account you created in order to take the PAX and you can see your scores there. Scores sometimes take four hours to appear after completion of the test.

The image below is a screenshot example of what you should be looking for. The RN Percentile Rank is what earns a student points. 50 or higher receives points.

pax score guide

The RN Percentile Rank shows how you stack up against all the pre-nursing students in the nation that have ever taken the NLN PAX.

< 50 = Below Average

   50 = Average

> 50 = Above Average

We have online access to everyone’s scores and we take the best of your attempts. You do not need to give us the information.


  • BIO-137 (Anatomy and Physiology I) - must be completed in the last 5 years
  • PSY-110 (General Psychology)
  • MAT-150, MAT-151, OR STA-210/220 (College Algebra or Statistics)
  • NAA 100 (Nursing Assistant Skills I) or active status on the KY Nurse Aide registry
  • CPR 100 (CPR for the Healthcare Provider or active CPR Basic Life Support for the Healthcare Provider certification)

Yes! As long as all of your pre-requisites are completed by May 15, you are good to go.


Nursing Application Periods
NSG 101 Start Pre-requisite Completion Deadline
Fall 2023 May 15, 2023
Spring 2024 October 15, 2023
Fall 2024 May 15, 2024
Spring 2025 October 15, 2024

BIO 137 and BIO 139 can be no older than five years by the start of NSG 101.  Here is a guide to help you determine the status of your BIO course:

BIO 137 and 139 course table
NSG 101 Start Last Completion Date BIO 137 and 139 are acceptable.
Fall 2023 Fall 2018
Spring 2024 Spring 2019
Fall 2024 Fall 2019
Spring 2025 Spring 2020

No, applicants are not penalized for renewing BIO 137 after they have already passed it. Likewise, if a student is retaking BIO 137 for a better grade even though they have already earned at least a C in a previous attempt, the higher of the two grades will be taken and no points will be docked.

Points are only deducted if the student had an unsuccessful attempt in BIO 137 and are retaking it for application eligibility.

Background Checks, Drug Screens, and medical requirements

Yes, instructions are given to students accepted into the program.
No. Only students that are accepted into the Nursing Program are required to have this done. Specific instructions are provided to the students once they are accepted.
Yes, you may reuse the background check from one of Gateway’s Health Professions programs, if less than one year old. However, a fresh drug screen is required specifically for the Nursing Program. Results from a previous background check or drug screen from another organization will not be accepted by our Nursing Program.
It could. Students are held to the same standards to which our clinical facilities hold their employees. Typically, the type of charges that prevent student enrollment into the program are anything to do with theft, drugs, violence, and recent DUIs.  All adverse results are reviewed confidentially on an individual basis.

Some charges are eligible for expungement. For more information about this option, visit the Department of Public Advocacy website. 

Our Nursing Program completes work-based learning (clinicals) at a variety of healthcare facilities; therefore, our program MUST follow the expectations of all facilities.

  • Immunizations/Vaccinations
    • Hepatitis B Vaccinations or Titer
    • Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccinations or Titers
    • Varicella Vaccinations or Titer
    • Tdap Vaccination (no titer options)
    • Covid-19 Vaccinations (no titer options)
    • Season Influenza Immunization
  • Tuberculosis 2-Step Screening or TB QuantiFERON (TB Gold) Blood Test
  • Physical Examination and Medical History

Because these are requirements for the clinical institutions and not for attendance at Gateway, neither Gateway, nor the Nursing Department, is offering exemptions from these requirements. The items listed above are mandatory for all students. *Subject to change

Yes, students are responsible for paying for the background check and drug screen. The cost is $61.20.  *Subject to change

In addition, students are responsible for paying for the Compliance Tracker, to help maintain immunization records, certifications, and other program requirements. 
The cost is $35.00 *Subject to change

NSG Schedule for those accepted

This schedule is subject to change, but here is what is currently being planned for: (These are tentative dates)
Tentative Scheduled Dates
Component Days Times
Lecture Mondays & Wednesdays or Tuesdays & Thursdays 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Lab Monday & Wednesdays or Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Clinical Fridays 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

No, the core nursing (NSG) courses have a set schedule. Sometimes there are lab and clinical time groups that the students may be able to choose from. However, those options are presented to accepted students when applicable.