BOZEMAN – Beginning in the fall of 2023, Montana high school graduates who aspire to a career in nursing will be guaranteed admission into the nursing bachelor’s degree program in the Mark and Robyn Jones College of Nursing at Montana State University.

The college announced last month that it had updated its Montana Nursing Direct Entry Program, so that high school students who graduate from any accredited high school in Montana, beginning in the spring of 2023, can apply for admission to the college of nursing, and will be guaranteed admission, provided they remain in good standing as MSU students and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or greater in their prerequisite coursework.

“Nursing is typically a gated program, so normally students start as a pre-nursing student and then apply for admission and placement into the nursing program,” said Susan Raph, associate dean for academic affairs for the nursing college. “We wanted to give Montana high school graduates who want to become nurses assured admission into our program.”

“Montana needs nurses, and we know that many of our students, because they grew up here, want to live in and serve Montana,” said Raph. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”

The requirements for Montana students accepted into the nursing program are the same as for out-of-state students.. After two years of prerequisite coursework, all upperclassmen are placed at one of MSU’s five nursing campuses in Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Kalispell and Missoula, based on their personal preference and the capacity at each campus. Receiving guaranteed admission will not influence where students are placed for their junior and senior years.

The aim of the Montana Nursing Direct Entry Program is to continue to meet the growing needs in Montana and the U.S. for well trained and prepared nurses, said Raph. MSU graduates already make up more than half of the state’s new nurses each year.

“Most of our students have job offers before they even finish their degree,” Raph said. “They know where they’re going and what they’re going to do, and we want to continue to fulfill their dreams and meet Montana’s needs.”

Founded in 1937, Montana State University’s Mark and Robyn Jones College of Nursing offers bachelor’s, accelerated bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral-level nursing education to produce nurses, nurse leaders, nurse educators and nurse practitioners for Montana. The college of nursing has campus locations in Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls, Kalispell and Missoula. Montana State University is the largest producer of registered nurses in Montana and is the sole provider of doctoral nurse practitioner education in the state. More information is available at

-by MSU News Service -

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