August 10, 2021
Nursing students in class

The Catholic University of America’s Conway School of Nursing announced this week that it will now enroll new students under the “direct-entry” model. Nursing students — who previously had to wait to apply to matriculate into nursing until their sophomore year — will now be automatically admitted into the first-year and first-semester sophomore levels in the Conway School.

This designation marks a new opportunity for incoming nursing students, providing them with the surety of a place in the clinical rotations that begin in the junior year. Students must meet the established academic criteria to move forward, including a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, a cumulative science grade point average of 2.75, and at least a 75% score on the three sections of the HESI Entrance Examination by the end of the fall semester of their sophomore year.

This change brings the Conway School in line with many of the top nursing programs in the country and provides an additional level of certainty to high school seniors as they consider their nursing school applications. The University’s Committee on Admission has developed a review for nursing candidates that places a significant emphasis on the caliber of each candidate’s overall curriculum, with a specific emphasis on math and science courses. Catholic University does not consider standardized tests for admission to any program, or for merit-based scholarships. The rigor of the admission review, and the incredible support of the Conway School faculty, has resulted in a 99% pass rate on the NCLEX credentialing examination for the Class of 2019 and a 100% pass rate for the Class of 2020 the first time they took the exam.

 “The Conway School of Nursing has been distinguished by educating young men and women who seek to pursue a career in nursing,” said Dean Patricia McMullen, noting that the school is working to expand thanks to the construction of a new nursing building. “Construction of the new home for our Conway School of Nursing is allowing us to expand the numbers of qualified students into our profession. Consequently, we are electing to commence direct-entry into nursing here at The Catholic University of America.”

CatholicU Nursing graduates are known for their academic achievements, and contributions across the University community. Students also benefit from CatholicU’s Washington, D.C., location, with access to world-class clinical sites and close proximity to leading healthcare institutions like the National Institutes of Health, INOVA Health System, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s National Medical Center, and more. 

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— Katie Bahr, Assistant Director of Media Relations and Communications. Bahr can be reached at