RN to BSN

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.

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The baccalaureate degree program in nursing and master's degree program in nursing at Point Loma Nazarene University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org). 

Course List

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Department Faculty

Application Information

Application Deadlines:

  • Spring 2019 – December 1, 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 Graduate Records
    3900 Lomaland Drive
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:
    gradprocessing@pointloma.edu
  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.

State Authorization

State authorization is a formal determination by a state that PLNU is approved to conduct activities regulated by that state. PLNU is not required to obtain state authorization in every state, and the university has opted at this time not to seek authorization in some states. Additionally, PLNU meets the criteria for exemption from authorization in certain states.

At this time, PLNU does not have authorization in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin, which means residents of these states cannot enroll in any PLNU online program or course. For more information refer to our disclosures page.

Authorizations in specific states may change periodically. PLNU recommends individuals contact PLNU admissions at (800) 733-7770 for the latest information.

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.”

Allison Gold

From RN to BSN: Allison Gold’s Journey of Vocation

PLNU’s Allison Gold shares about her journey from having an RN to earning a BSN.

Read More in the Viewpoint Online Magazine 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is required to be admitted into this program?

To be admitted into PLNU's RN to BSN program, you must have completed at least 40 semester hours with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 from an accredited institution. Students must also 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. You must also have attained the minimum age of 23 OR minimum age of 21 with an associate’s degree or significant work experience.

Can I work while completing the program?

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.

What scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available to me?

You will have the option to apply for a number of scholarships through Student Financial Services. This program qualifies for state and federal financial aid options. Contact your enrollment counselor for more information.

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 your ​program advisor to advise you on the next steps.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The expected completion time is as few as 15 months.

How many days a week do classes meet?

Classes will meet once a week from 6 p.m. 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.

How large will the classes be?

Class sizes are estimated to be 20 to 25 people.

Are international students eligible to apply?

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. Please contact Financial Aid and Student Support Services for more information.

What’s the difference between this degree completion program and a traditional undergraduate program?

This program is designed for students who’ve already completed some four-year or community college coursework and are looking to continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree. The program provides greater flexibility and affordability than most traditional undergraduate programs while maintaining high academic quality by integrating evening courses. The program is ideal for students looking to advance in their career while balancing their work and family life.

PLNU is a Christian university, but I am not a Christian. Would I feel out of place in this program?

We welcome and encourage people of all backgrounds as students in our programs. Issues that relate to faith may be discussed in some classes, and engaging in discussion with individuals with alternative points of view will be encouraged as learning opportunities. Students will work within a learning community that is supportive academically, spiritually, and emotionally.

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 textbooks in at the end of the semester.

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

No.

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.

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 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.

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.

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 GPA of 3.0 to graduate.

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.

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

A current California RN license is required prior to term three of the program.