Essential Requirements

Attributes needed to succeed in TCC's Nursing Program and in the field of Nursing.

New Admission Process Update (revised 4.10.24)

Tacoma Community College’s Nursing program is committed to reducing barriers for students to earn a nursing degree and is still developing a more equitable and holistic admission process. We thank you for your patience as we navigate this complex process. All future updates will be placed on this website once they have been finalized and implemented.

We have are very pleased to announce that beginning with the next application cycle, starting on June 1, 2024:

  • The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam will NO LONGER be required for admission to the traditional RN and the LPN to RN programs.
  • The CNA (NAC) certified nursing assistant credential will NO LONGER be required for admission to the traditional RN program. LPNs will still be required to have an unencumbered LPN license for the LPN to RN program application.
  • Please note that applicants with specific healthcare experience and/or credentials (such as CNA/NAC, MA, EMT, RT, etc.) may receive additional points in the new scoring system, however the CNA/NAC credential is no longer mandatory.
  • Retakes or repeats for ANY pre-requisite course will NO LONGER carry a penalty such as deduction of points in the new scoring system. There continues to be no time limit on the age of prerequisite courses.
  • The following prerequisites are required:

NOTE: The only changes to prerequisites are the added additional options for Communication courses.

Completion of the courses listed below with a 'B' or higher. There are no attempt or expiration date rules. 

  • ENGL& 101 (English Composition I)
  • CHEM& 121 (Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry or CHEM& 161 (General Chemistry w/lab I)
  • BIOL& 241 (Human Anatomy and Physiology I)
  • BIOL& 242 (Human Anatomy and Physiology II)
  • BIOL& 260 (General Microbiology)
  • PSYC& 200 (Lifespan Psychology)

Completion of the courses listed below with a 'C' or higher. There are no attempt or expiration date rules. 

  • ENGL& 102 (English Composition II: Argument and Persuasion) or ENGL& 103 (English Composition III: Writing about Literature) or ENGL& 235 (Technical Writing)
  • CMST& 210 (Interpersonal Communications) or CMST 320 (Professional and Organizational Communication) or CMST& 220 (Public Speaking) or CMST& 101 (Introduction to Communications) or CMST 110 (Multicultural Communications)
  • Nutrition 250 (Nutrition in Health Care) or NUTR& 101
  • PSYCH&100 (General Psychology)
  • BIOL&160 (General Cell Biology). BIOL& 211 (Majors Cellular) or BIOL& 222 (Introduction to Cellular & Molecular Biology) may also be used to meet this requirement.  
    NOTE: If you are a Tacoma Community College student and have taken a higher-level Biology class, you can contact Ken Cushman to arrange taking a challenge exam for BIOL&160 credit.
  • MATH&146 (Statistics)
  • Humanities - 5 credits (Choose from the Approved Humanities Distribution List.

Revision of the new scoring system and our final admission process are still in process, so we ask your continual patience as we develop a more equitable admission process.

Jillian T. Edwards, DNP, MN, BSN, ARNP, FNP-BC, RN 
Associate Dean of Nursing
Tacoma Community College


The nursing profession is a highly respected field. The reasons for this are many, but largely because patients put their lives in our hands. Nurses must be worthy of that trust. The nursing program has the responsibility to assure the public that its students and graduates are competent in all areas of practice.

"Each individual, upon entering the practice of nursing, assumes a measure of responsibility and public trust and the corresponding obligation to adhere to the standards of nursing practice. The nurse shall be responsible and accountable for the quality of nursing care given to clients. This responsibility cannot be avoided by accepting the orders or directions of another person."

WAC 246-840-700, state law relating to nursing care. Nursing students and graduates are held to this law.

What Nurses Need to Know

The TCC Nursing Program curriculum is intended to lead to a student’s eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse. The curriculum requires students to engage in diverse, complex, and specific experiences essential to the acquisition and practice of essential nursing skills and functions. These abilities are essential as they constitute core components of nursing practice. There is a high probability that negative consequences will result for patients/clients under the care of nurses who fail to demonstrate these abilities. A program preparing students for the practice of nursing must attend to these essential functional abilities in the education and evaluation of its students.

This statement of Technical Standards identifies the functional abilities the TCC nursing faculty deem to be essential to the practice of nursing. The Technical Standards are reflected in the Nursing Program Learning Outcomes, which are the basis for teaching and evaluating all nursing students. The TCC Nursing Program’s Mission and Program Learning Outcomes are available for reference on the TCC Website.

Students with disabilities who have questions about or may require reasonable accommodations in meeting the Technical Standards of the Nursing Program should contact TCC’s Access Services Office to discuss the process of identifying reasonable accommodations. Students should seek reasonable accommodation advising as soon as possible so that a plan for reasonable accommodation can be in place at the beginning of the program. The phone number for the Access Services Office is 253-460-4437. The e-mail address is This e-mail is monitored by Access Services program assistants who are not involved in the admission process. Information concerning whether a student may have a disability or may need reasonable accommodations is confidential in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Reasonable accommodations are geared toward providing an equal educational opportunity for students with disabilities while adhering to the standards of nursing practice for all students.

This Technical Standards document (pdf) identifies the functional abilities the TCC nursing faculty deem to be essential to the practice of nursing.

Essential Requirements

The nursing faculty has an obligation to socialize students into the profession beginning with the point of entering the program. Students will be held to the essential requirements below:

Clinical Expectations

Students must meet all minimum requirements of all nursing program clinical affiliate agencies, which may include:

  • background checks
  • documentation of immunizations or proof of immunity
  • drug screening
  • Onboarding healthcare partner training

A general nursing job description was developed to assist in outlining these basic requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to determine what, if any, accommodations would need to be made for the student to perform the job successfully.