Program Overview

Your work is more than a job — it’s a sacred calling. You meet people in their weakest, most vulnerable, and joyful moments. Your patients need more than your skills and technology alone; they need your compassion, humble strength, and spiritual understanding.

PLNU has partnered with community colleges across San Diego County to offer our RN to BSN degree in a format redesigned for working nurses. Hands-on, evidence-based instruction, mentoring, and a practical clinical component will build on the educational experience already achieved when preparing for your RN license.

Faithfully serve others — and fulfill your purpose.

"As an ADN graduate myself, I am excited about the opportunities this RN to BSN program provides for nurses. This program paves the way for nurses to fulfill lifelong learning goals and pursue professional adventures."

Michelle Federe Riingen, DNP
Director, RN to BSN Program

Keep Current

A BSN is quickly becoming the industry standard, with many hospitals requiring RNs be enrolled in a BSN program as a requirement for being hired or promoted to a leadership position. Currently, BSN-prepared nurses are eligible for 37 percent more jobs and have considerably higher earning potential over the course of their careers.   

Manage Special Moments

With in-person instruction only one night a week on campus at a community college partner location near you, plus online classes, you can earn a PLNU degree while still leaving time for life’s special moments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are international students eligible to apply for this program?

Students seeking to receive credit at the university from an institution outside the U.S. are required to have their foreign transcript evaluated by a service accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). A detailed or course-by-course report is required. Official foreign transcripts are submitted to the service of choice and the evaluations subsequently submitted directly to the Office of Records.

Do you accept transfer credits into your program?

Yes, the easiest way is to transfer in with your ADN, but there are options for those who have received an RN without an ADN or have fewer transferable credits. Please speak with the ​Program Advisor who can advise you on the next steps.

Will there be any priority given to certain graduation cohorts? Will there be enough room for all the cohorts that will graduate in May and be accepted in fall?

Although we are preparing to meet the program demand, the students who have graduated most recently from the community college will be given priority. Additionally, 20 percent of each cohort will include RNs who already have work experience. If we fill all the cohorts, we will start a waitlist for the first cohort of the next semester.

Are textbooks required?

Once you are officially admitted, books will be provided for you and given to you in class. You will be required to turn these texts in at the end of the semester.

How large will the classes be?

At the largest, classes can be 25 students.

Do I have to wear a uniform or scrubs to class?


Can I take any statistics course? (sociology, psychology, biostatistics, etc.)

Yes. Statistics must be taken prior to the second term of the RN-BSN program. If you have taken a higher level math course but not statistics, you will still need to complete a statistics class to meet that prerequisite.

How many days a week do classes meet?

Classes will meet once a week from 6 to 10 p.m. The classes are a hybrid of online and in- person and will require work outside of class for things like online discussion boards and readings.

Can I still work full time?

The program is designed for someone to be able to maintain a full-time job while attending classes. You will have class one day a week plus devoted time outside of class.

Can I complete the program at my own pace or is the program a firm 15 months?

The program will take at least 15 months and it cannot be done any faster. You can take classes at the same time to complete your general education requirements, but you will have to pay the rate for whatever program that class is in.

How many hours will it take me per week to complete my work?

Plan on allocating seven to nine hours per week for a three-semester hour course and 12 – 14 hours per week for a four-semester hour course. This time will be spent reading, viewing lectures, participating in discussion boards, and accessing information in the online library. This does not include the time needed to complete and submit assignments in the course.

Are there clinical requirements for the RN to BSN degree?

Yes, there are three practicums required as part of graduating. They will be taken in the first, third, and fourth semester. The practicums are based on community health; you will work on these in small groups at an assigned location and must assess and implement a health plan to fulfill requirement for PHN certificate.

How will clinicals work? Do they have to be completed in a hospital?

We have practicums aligned with courses in terms one, three, and four. You will have an instructor who will coordinate finding a practicum, which may include experience in churches, community centers, senior community living areas, etc. You will have a separate practicum instructor for each practicum class. There will be approximately 37 – 50 hours of work outside of class time for your practicum class. Each unit of practicum time equates to 40 hours of clinical time in addition to completion of associated assignments.

What grades are required to graduate from the program?

Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to graduate.

Can you take breaks between classes if needed? Is there an option to take a semester off?

In the case of circumstances that would require needing to take a break from the program, you can. If you need to take one semester off, you can continue on, but at some point before you graduate you will need to join a cohort to complete the missing course. The cost of making up that course will reflect the price of the current cohort, not your previous cohort.

Can I take more than one course at a time?

No, this program is designed to accommodate the busy schedule of a working RN.

Do the RN to BSN classes need to be taken in a specific order?

Courses are taken in order; the curriculum is designed to build on previous semesters’ knowledge, and to build relationships with fellow students in the cohort.

What other expenses or fees can I expect to be required of this program?

The tuition will cover the courses, textbooks, and access to PLNU’s student resources.

Will I receive a degree plan showing the courses needed to complete the program?

You will receive a degree plan ​during your application process​. Since the classes are taken one at a time, this will be a very easy-to-follow degree plan. Any questions or clarification regarding the ​plan can be asked of the Program Advisor.

Do I need to send the university a copy of my RN license?

A current California RN license is required prior to Term 3 of the program.

You can also visit rntobsn.org for more information about earning your BSN.

Course List


Application Information

Application Deadlines:

  • Summer 2018 - March 19, 2018

All applications submitted after this date will be reviewed based on availability of space.

Program Prerequisites 

Students must have completed or be currently enrolled in an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) program to be eligible. A current California RN license is required prior to the third term of the program.

Start Application

The Selection Process

We understand your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it reflects you as a person. That’s why we are committed to reviewing it thoroughly and giving it the individual care and attention it deserves. We believe you have more to offer than just a GPA, which is why there is no numeric formula that determines admittance. Rather, we holistically evaluate your academic history, work and life experience, background, and circumstances to determine admittance into the program. We strongly encourage you to apply, even if you’re unsure of your qualifications.

To be admitted into PLNU's degree completion program, you must have completed at least 40 semester hours with a minimum cumulative GPA of at least a 2.75 from an accredited institution as evidenced by an official transcript sent directly from each college or university attended.*

You must also have attained the minimum age of 23 OR minimum age of 21 with an associate’s degree or significant work experience.

Application Checklist

  1. Submit official transcripts from each institution attended.
  2. Official transcripts must be sent to:

    Point Loma Nazarene University
    Office of Admissions
    3900 Lomaland Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:
  3. Submit online application for admission.
  4. Submit a 200- to 250-word essay to one question with your online application addressing one of the School of Nursing’s five established professional nursing curriculum values, commenting on how it might be incorporated into your nursing education.

Start Application

* All documentation can be submitted through the online application except for your transcripts, which must be mailed or emailed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the admission requirements?

  • RN to BSN program application
  • Conferred associate degree in nursing from a regionally accredited school
  • Successful completion of an associate degree or diploma program in nursing from an ACEN-accredited* program
  • Active and unencumbered licensure as an RN before the third term
  • Official transcripts from all institutions previously attended
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA
  • At least 72 transferable units (A bachelor’s degree requires 120 units; your NCLEX count as 15 units in the state of California, and the PLNU program is 36 units.)

Are there any additional requirements I need to know about?

  • Active and unencumbered licensure as a RN is required before the third term

  • Statistics course or PLNU statistics workshop required before the second term

Where do I send transcripts and test scores?

Official transcripts and supporting documents should be mailed to:
Point Loma Nazarene University
Office of Admissions
3900 Lomaland
San Diego, CA 92106

Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:

Financial Aid and Student Support

We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Financial Aid and Student Support

Career Opportunities

The versatile set of skills you’ll develop by pursuing a degree in nursing from PLNU prepares you for nursing in a variety of settings. PLNU nursing alumni have held various positions in hospitals, K – 12 schools, clinics, medical missions, and public health institutions. PLNU cultivates passion, professionalism, and a values-driven approach to work in a context that intersects your intellect and faith, equipping you to become a trustworthy leader in your workplace.

When you complete the RN to BSN degree completion program, you will be able to:

  • Inquire Faithfully: You will demonstrate knowledge, skill, and behavior of the evidence-based practice of nursing, which integrates growth in reasoning, analysis, decision-making, and the application of theory with the goal of advocating for others and/or self. This includes holistic nursing skills and the nursing process.
  • Lead Faithfully: You will incorporate a foundational relationship with Christ and others and embrace a willingness to serve others in the midst of life circumstances (e.g., illness, injustice, poverty). You will role-model the need for “Sabbath Rest” as a means for personal renewal, and true care of self, so service to others is optimally achieved. You will incorporate the characteristics of a servant leader, including humility, courage, forgiveness, and discernment.
  • Communicate Faithfully: You will actively engage in the dynamic interactive process that is intrapersonal and interpersonal with the goal of advocating for others and/or self. This includes effective, culturally appropriate communication that conveys information, thoughts, actions, and feelings through the use of verbal and nonverbal skills.
  • Follow Faithfully: You will integrate the ordinary work* by complying with and adhering to regulatory and professional standards (e.g., ANA Code of Ethics, California Board of Registered Nursing, Scope of Nursing Practice, SON Handbook). This includes taking responsibility, being accountable for all actions, and treating others with respect and dignity.
  • Care Faithfully: You will embrace a calling to the ministry of compassionate care for all people in response to God’s grace, which aims to foster optimal health and bring comfort in suffering and death.

*Defined as claiming the challenge from Florence Nightingale that nursing is a “divine imposed duty of ordinary work.”