Associate in Nursing Direct Transfer Agreement/Major Related Program

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Program Description

The Associate in Nursing Direct Transfer Agreement/Major Related Program (DTA/MRP) Program is designed for persons interested in becoming a Registered Nurse as defined by Washington State law (RCW 18.79.040 and WAC 246-840-700).  

The South Puget Sound Community College Nursing Program is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission.

Career Opportunities

Upon receiving licensure, graduates may be hired as nurses in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, medical offices, long-term care facilities, schools and community health agencies.  Employment opportunities are high and well distributed throughout the state and the nation, especially in rural areas.  See Health and Wellness » Associate in Nursing for more career and employment information. 

Program Outcomes

Graduates of SPSCC’s Nursing Program are prepared to use their skills in critical thinking and data analysis as well as their understanding of relationships and responsibilities to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to assess, diagnose, plan, safely implement, and evaluate nursing plans of care which address the holistic needs of diverse individuals, families, groups, and communities
  • Acquire and implement new scientific knowledge and use technology to enhance nursing practice
  • Communicate effectively in full partnership to facilitate delivery of care
  • Participate ethically and professionally in local and global communities as an entry level nurse

Length of Program: The Associate in Nursing Program takes approximately three years (one year of required science and general education requirements and two academic years of nursing course work). 

Additional Program Information

Special Admissions

Application Process

Before applying for admission to the program, there are several requirements (steps 1-3) to complete.  It is your responsibility to ensure that all application materials and required documentation are received by the published application deadline.

  1. Apply to SPSCC: If you are not already an admitted student at SPSCC, you must become one.  Apply online to obtain a Student Id Number.  It is free to apply to the college.
  2. Complete the Prerequisites:  Prerequisite courses must be completed to qualify for admission to the nursing program at SPSCC. Official transcripts of prerequisite coursework must be received prior to the application deadline.

The following prerequisite courses must be complete to qualify for admission to the nursing program at SPSCC:

ENGL& 101 – English Composition   (B or better)
MATH& 146 – Intro to Stats (B or better)
PSYC& 200 – Lifespan Psychology  (B or better)
BIOL& 241* – Anatomy & Physiology I (B+ or better)
BIOL& 242* – Anatomy & Physiology II (B+ or better)
BIOL& 260* – Microbiology  (B or better)
CHEM& 121- Intro to Chemistry  (B or better)
*must be taken in past 7 years

An additional 25 credits of general education courses are also required to graduate from the nursing program at SPSCC.  Though not required for admission to the program, it is recommended that you take these courses prior to entry into the program. 

These include:

BIOL& 160 – General Biology w/ Lab 
BIOL& 211 – Majors Cellular
PSYC& 100 – General Psychology
Communications, 5 credits from DTA list
Humanities, 10 credits from DTA list

Notes on Prerequisites and General Education:

  • Based on placement testing, students may need to complete basic skills and/or pre-college English and math in order to complete prerequisites.
  • Anatomy and physiology and microbiology courses must have been completed within 7 years of the application deadline.
  • Although general education courses may be taken after admission to the Nursing Program, students are encouraged to complete as many of these courses as possible prior to entering the Nursing Program.  Summer quarters are also good times to take general education courses.
  • Communications and humanities courses may be chosen from the course list for direct transfer degrees.
  1. Apply for Admission to the Nursing Program: To apply to the nursing program at SPSCC, you must submit a Nursing Program Application along with a non-refundable $25 application fee.

Application period: April 3 through June 1: Applications for 2017-2018 admission to the nursing program will be accepted starting on April 1, 2017. No applications will be accepted after June 1, 2017. Coursework completed Spring quarter, 2017 will be accepted towards admission to the program.  Application materials, dates of nursing information sessions, and information about the lottery process are available on the Nursing Application.

The 2017-2018 Nursing Application cycle is closed

Admission Process  
Qualified applicants who have met the above requirements (steps 1-3) by the application deadline are entered into the nursing lottery, which selects students for the nursing program.  Ten slots in the program will be specifically drawn for students who took 20 or more credits of their prerequisites at SPSCC.  Applicants selected in the lottery process will be required to provide proof of immunizations and be cleared through background checks before being admitted to the program. 

Cost of Program (dollar values are approximate and subject to change):
Total Estimated Costs: $9,000 for two years of program

Tuition and fees

Approx, $3500/year

SPSCC Placement test (Accuplacer Computerized Placement Test)


Lab fee, per quarter


SPSCC ADN Application fee (non-refundable)


Health examination, clinical requirements and immunization requirements

Cost Varies

HIV/AIDS class

Cost Varies

CPR class

Cost Varies

Uniforms, shoes, name tags (Watch with sweep hand, stethoscope, gait belt)


Criminal background check, per year


Malpractice insurance, per year


Private health insurance per quarter

Cost Varies

Fees for standardized testing, per quarter


Graduation ceremony (cap and gown)


School pin (optional)


RN state license application


National licensure examination RN



Any applicant requiring reasonable accommodations for the application should call SPSCC’s ADA coordinator in the human resources office, 2011 Mottman Rd SW, Olympia WA 98512, (360-596-5360). Students who need disability accommodation should contact Disability Support Services in Building 22, second floor, email or call (360)596-5306. It is the policy of SPSCC that there will be no discrimination or harassment on the grounds of race, color, sex, marital status, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or disability in any educational programs, activities, or employment.

Students applying for Financial Aid are required to submit a FAFSA application on the web and the SPSCC data sheet. For more information, refer to or email See Pay for College and Scholarships for other sources of funding.

Special Program Notes  
The Nursing Program is rigorous, and our faculty advises that students work no more than 20 hours per week while in the full-time Nursing Program.

All nursing courses must be completed with a “C” or better to continue in and complete the program.

Immunizations, TB testing, and CPR Training: Once admitted to the Nursing Program, proof of immunizations or immunity to certain diseases must be provided.  Two of the three doses of Hepatitis B must have been received before the start of the nursing program. Students must also be tested for TB prior to beginning clinical rotations. Information regarding healthcare requirements will be provided with offers of admissions from the Nursing Program. Immunization requirements may change based upon clinical site requirements.  Additionally, all nursing students must complete CPR for healthcare providers.

CPR Card: All students must complete a BLS Health Care Provider Card C (CPR for Health Care Professionals) before the first day of class. The card must be current at all times to meet clinical agreement requirements.

Background Check & Drug Screening: A criminal history clearance is required by state law RCW 43.43.830 to participate in client care at clinical facilities. Some clinical facilities require national background checks and drug screening as well. Your background check must be cleared in order to continue enrollment in the nursing program. 

Examples of crimes for which an individual will be denied clearance:

  • Crimes against another person such as murder, manslaughter, assault, rape, sexual abuse, child abandonment or neglect.
  • Conviction for a crime against property such as first degree offenses including burglary, arson, criminal mischief, robbery, or forgery.
  • An extended history of arrests and convictions demonstrating habitual disregard for societal rules.

New Student Orientation: Students admitted into the program are mandated to attend orientation held prior to the start of the first quarter. Additional information about the orientation will be provided after acceptance to the program. This orientation includes a Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS).

Essential Skills: SPSCC encourages all interested and qualified individuals to apply to the nursing program and does not discriminate or deny admission to students with disabilities. Nursing students must meet the following essential skills to progress through the program: 

  • Ability to grasp scientific concepts, set up and answer basic math & algebra problems
  • Critical thinking sufficient for clinical judgment
  • Verbal and written communication sufficient to effectively interact with clients, peers, and others
  • Ability to move from room to room, maneuver in small spaces, remain on feet for extended periods of time, and lift up to 40 pounds
  • Gross and fine motor skills sufficient to provide safe and effective nursing care
  • Hearing sufficient to monitor and assess clients, e.g., hear heart and breath sounds and use a telephone
  • Visual acuity and color discrimination sufficient to read fine print, to observe and assess clients, e.g., identify skin tones such as pale, ashen, grey, or bluish
  • Tactile ability sufficient for physical assessment, e.g., palpate peripheral pulses
  • Computer literacy

National accreditation:  Currently the nursing program at SPSCC is not nationally accredited.  This may limit future educational and career opportunities after graduation. However, SPSCC graduates are eligible for licensure as RN’s in Washington and other states, currently attend RN-BSN programs at regional universities, and have been hired by our local hospitals and care facilities. We actively encourage all graduates to progress to a BSN degree after completion of their nursing program at SPSCC.

Educational Plan

Associate in Nursing DTA/MRP

135 credits, including prerequisites

1st Quarter Fall

No course description for: ENGL&101
No course description for: ENGL&102
No course description for: CHEM&121
No course description for: MATH&146

2nd Quarter Winter

No course description for: BIOL&160
No course description for: BIOL&211
No course description for: BIOL&241
No course description for: PSYC&100

3rd Quarter Spring

No course description for: BIOL&242
No course description for: PSYC&200
No course description for: BIOL&260

4th Quarter Summer


10 Credits in Nursing Humanities (DTA)

5th Quarter Fall

No course description for: NURS111
No course description for: NURS112
No course description for: NURS113
No course description for: HUM235
No course description for: PSYC235
No course description for: NURS116

6th Quarter Winter

No course description for: NURS121
No course description for: NURS122
No course description for: NURS123
No course description for: HUM236
No course description for: PSYC236

7th Quarter Spring

No course description for: NURS131
No course description for: NURS132
No course description for: NURS133
No course description for: HUM237
No course description for: PSYC237

8th Quarter Fall

No course description for: NURS211
No course description for: NURS212
No course description for: NURS213
No course description for: HUM238
No course description for: PSYC238
No course description for: NURS216

9th Quarter Winter

No course description for: NURS221
No course description for: NURS222
No course description for: NURS223
No course description for: HUM239
No course description for: PSYC239

10th Quarter Spring

No course description for: NURS231
No course description for: NURS232
No course description for: NURS233

Effective Catalog Year 2017-2018, Revised March 21, 2017