Nursing Program Frequently Asked Questions

When do you start accepting applications for the Nursing Program? When is the deadline to apply?

Application deadline for the Fall is February 1st, Spring is June 10th. 
(Unless above dates fall on a weekend, then following Monday by 6:00 pm)
Students may submit applications to the Nursing Division Office for the upcoming admission 6 weeks prior to the deadline. Applications must be hand-delivered or certified mailed to :

Central Arizona College
Nursing Admissions
8470 N. Overfield Rd, Room W110
Coolidge, AZ 85128

Applications must be received by the deadline date/time in order to be considered. All pre-requisites MUST be completed prior to application.

What are the pre-requisites for application to the program?

  • Completion of BIO201-Human Anatomy and Physiology I and BIO202-Human Anatomy and Physiology II with a grade of “C” or better within the last five years
  •  Licensed Nursing Assistant (L.N.A.) licensure from the state of Arizona. Obtaining LNA licensure means you have taken a CNA/LNA exam, submitted your finger print card and LNA license application with the state required fee. You must plan ahead to be sure this process is completed prior to submitting your application to the Nursing Program. Go to Arizona State Board of Nursing's website: for approved nursing assistant training programs.
  •  Appropriate scores on the HESI nursing entrance exam (see below)
  • Attendance at a Nursing Information session within the last year - held each month(click here to sign up for an information session.)
  • Must be eligible to enroll in, or have already completed, ENG101-English Composition I
  • Must be eligible to enroll in, or have already completed MAT 141. MAT 121 is a prerequisite, therefore plan ahead to complete the math requirement.

Please Note: ALL pre-requisites MUST be completed prior to application.



Where do I schedule the HESI test? Can I take it somewhere other than CAC?

Answer: Schedule the HESI test at the Advising & Testing Center at the Signal Peak campus. Please call to schedule your appointment at 520-494-5042. The test needs to be completed prior to application to the program. Students must take the HESI exam at the CAC testing center.

Can I take the HESI Entrance Exam more than once?

Answer: A student may take the HESI entrance exam no more than 3 times to be considered for admission to the Nursing Program. Each test must be 30 days apart. The highest passing scores are counted. It is advised that students study for the exam. The book store stocks a copy of the HESI review for the exam. Study basic math, English, and anatomy & physiology as a means to prepare. Remediation is available after you have taken the HESI through the HESI (Elsevier) website.

What scores do I need on the HESI nursing entrance exam?

  • Reading Comprehension - 80%
  • Grammar - 80%
  • Vocabulary - 80%
  • Math - 80%
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology - 70%

If I am a Radiology tech, EMT, Medical Assistant, Paramedic, or already have a health care background where I work, do I still need the Nursing Assistant course?

Answer: Yes. You must hold a current Arizona LNA or LPN licensure when you apply and throughout the program. A photocopy of your LNA or LPN licensure must accompany your appliction and is kept on file in the nursing office.

Do you offer the Nursing Assistant Certification training?

Answer: Nurse Assistant training is offered through our Health Careers division. Contact the office at 480-677-7787.

How long is the waiting list for the program?

Answer: CAC Nursing Program does not keep a waiting list. Entrance into the program is highly competitive and selection is based on set criteria. Students who are not accepted may re-apply for the next semester. If you choose to re-apply, you will need to re-submit a complete application packet.

What are the General Education courses required for the degree?

  • ENG101-English Composition I (3 credits)
  • ENG102-English Composition II (3 credits)
  • Arts / Humanities (3 credits) AGEC required
  • PSY101-Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)
  • BIO205-Microbiology (4 credits)
  • MAT-141 College Mathematics (4 credits)
  • Physical Activity course numbered 100 or higher, excluding varsity sports (1 credit)

Do I have to complete the General Education courses before I apply to the program?

Answer: Although it is highly recommended that all General Education courses be completed prior to starting the nursing courses, completion is not required in order to apply to the program (unless applying for CAC/NAU CEP). However, applicants receive 2 points in the application scoring process for each completed General Education course.

I've taken General Education courses somewhere else, will CAC accept them?

Answer: Transfer courses must have been acquired through an accredited college or university. Military courses and experiences in the Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services may be transferred if the credits are applicable to this degree program. The Registrar's Office will determine transferability of coursework. Courses in which a grade of less than "C" was earned will not be accepted. Please submit your official transcripts to the Records/Admission office well in advance of application. Records/Admissions Office address is:

Central Arizona College
ATTN: Records/Admissions
8470 N. Overfield Rd
Coolidge, AZ 85128

I live outside of Pinal County; can I apply to the program?

Answer: Yes. However, Pinal County residents receive additional points in the application scoring process.

Do I need a copy of my fingerprint clearance card? I completed one with Arizona State Board of Nursing, for my CNA, but they did not give me anything for proof except what is online.

Answer: We now use Castle Branch Background for our background screening and do not require the fingerprint clearance card for admission, however, the Arizona State Board of Nursing requires the card when it is time to take your NCLEX exam.

Are nursing courses offered online, nights, and/or weekends?

Answer: We may offer some evening – weekend clinicals when necessary, but the majority of nursing lectures and labs are offered weekdays at this time.

How long does the program take and does the program run through the summer?

Answer: The program takes 2 academic years, with the required blocks running in the Fall and Spring semesters.  Advanced Medical Terminology is taken in the summer by Block I students, other nursing courses are not scheduled in the Summer; however, students can use the summer to complete other courses needed for Bachelor's Degree programs or to finish co-requisites. 

How many days and hours are spent in lecture and how many days and hours are spent in clinical every week?

Answer: Lecture hours are 6-8 hours per week and clinical hours are generally 12 hours per week per course. Class hours vary depending on which semester you are in and clinical hours are usually 1 day. In addition, students should plan time in the Nursing Lab practicing skills and viewing materials.

Clinical experiences are numerous and occur at various sites and times, including days/evenings/weekends, as applicable. Students are notified in advance of scheduled clinical rotations. Students are expected to attend ALL assigned clinical experiences and arrange transportation to and from these experiences.

At which campus is your Nursing Program located?

Answer: Signal Peak Campus in Coolidge. The address is 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128.

I am an LPN with a license in Arizona. Do you offer a transitional course from LPN to RN?

Answer: No, but we do provide an optional LPN preparation course after second block if students choose to sit for the NCLEXPN examination. Students can continue with the second year of courses for the Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree without interuption. This allows a student to apply for the NCLEXRN exam.


The Central Arizona College Nursing Program does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, handicap/disability, sexual orientation, age, or veteran status in the application, participation, access and treatment of persons in instructional programs and activities. The CAC Nursing Program reserves the right to change, without notice, any materials, information, curriculum, requirements or regulations.


Content on this page is provided by the Nursing Department .

Central Arizona College - District Office 8470 N. Overfield Road, Coolidge, AZ 85128 Phone: 800-237-9814