RN to BSN, Online

RN to BSN, Online


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’s School of Nursing offers a compelling RN to BSN program in a fully online format designed for working nurses. Evidence-based instruction, mentoring, and a practical in-person clinical component will build on the educational experience already achieved when preparing for your RN license. 

Faithfully serve others — and fulfill your purpose.

Earn your BSN in a convenient online format

This flexible online format is designed for busy nurses to continue their education in a tight-knit, supportive online community while allowing them to manage their own schedules. 

Learn nursing on your terms

This online program gives you the flexibility to learn when and where you want. You can complete coursework in the comfort of your home, favorite coffee shop, or local library while choosing a study schedule that works best for you. 

Online learning is perfect for those who learn in ways that aren’t often found in traditional classrooms — watching instructional videos, listening to audio lectures at your preferred speed, or dedicating extra study time to tricky topics. You can always connect with professors to help find the best ways to absorb and apply your learning.

Time for life’s commitments, even for the busiest nurses

Learning shouldn’t prevent you from doing what you love. Coursework is designed to be flexible to your needs and help you balance your other life commitments. 

While completing this program, you’ll still be able to continue spending time with family, thriving at your full- or part-time workplace, or leisure time. 

Healthcare-focused community without commuting

Commuting can be stressful and time-consuming — especially in San Diego. Thankfully, you can learn online while still benefiting from PLNU’s strong focus on community. In this program, you’ll meaningfully connect with other students online as you learn and grow in your leadership expertise.

You’ll also have access to top-tier mentorship from professors and advisors. They’ll help you to leverage your strengths to expand your connections and career opportunities. You’ll be able to access resources tailored to you and your career goals. 

A seamless transition from your ADN

A counselor and coordinator will work with you through every step of your journey to complete your bachelor’s, from helping you transfer previously-earned credit to working alongside you with care and encouragement as you earn your degree and complete your clinical hours. You won’t feel like you’re starting a brand-new program — rather, it will be a natural continuation of your previous education experience.

For students who don’t yet have their ADN, check out our fully-online concurrent enrollment program for students wanting to earn their ADN and BSN simultaneously.

"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, RN, CNS-BC
Dean, School of Nursing

Stay up-to-date in the nursing field

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.   

Clinically prepared

In this program, you’ll complete community outreach clinical hours required by your BSN. These hours also allow you to graduate and earn a California Public Health Nurse Certification, making you more marketable and employable with industry-relevant skills and experiences.

Enhance your degree by adding a Minor

Adding a minor to your Accelerated undergraduate program can be a great opportunity to broaden your knowledge, increase career opportunities, and foster personal growth. Explore subjects like Marketing, Organizational Leadership, Strategic Communication, Management, Creative Digital Media, and Child Development. Choosing to add a minor can make your degree more versatile, well-rounded, and appealing to future employers. PLNU Counselors are ready to help you integrate a minor into your academic plan. Discover the benefits of a minor at PLNU today!

Nursing student takes care of a patient

RN to BSN Concurrent Enrollment

Concurrent enrollment is an accelerated opportunity to simultaneously complete your ADN and BSN. You’ll also complete the NCLEX exam and earn your RN license to ensure you are ready to start working.

Man works on homework outside.

Military Tuition Discount

PLNU offers a flat rate of $250 per unit for all active duty service members who enroll in this program.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, and post-graduate advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) certificate program at Point Loma Nazarene University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Application Information

Program start date(s):

  • Fall 2024 — September 2, 2024
  • Spring 2025 —  January 13, 2025
  • Summer 2025 — May 12, 2025

Start Application

Program prerequisites 

Students must have completed or be currently enrolled in an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) program to be eligible. 

A concurrent enrollment program is also offered to earn your ADN and BSN simultaneously. This program is also all-online.

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.* A 3.0 GPA is required for the concurrent enrollment plan.

Application checklist

  1. Submit online application for admission.
  2. Submit official transcripts from each institution attended.

    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:

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

At this time, PLNU does not have authorization in Arkansas, Connecticut, 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 or U.S. Territories may change periodically. PLNU recommends individuals contact PLNU admissions at (800) 733-7770 for the latest information.

Professional licensure or certification

This program is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing and meets the requirements for licensure or certification in the state of California, where Point Loma Nazarene University is physically located. PLNU cannot confirm whether or not specific programs meet out-of-state requirements for Professional Licensure or Certification. Information about out-of-state requirements in Nursing are available on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website.

For more information on State Authorization and Program Licensure, please refer to our disclosures page.

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 and prepared leader in your workplace.

At PLNU, our School of Nursing (SON) centers on two fundamental elements of nursing:

  • The human and spiritual aspects of nursing. 
  • The physical and technical skills necessary to faithfully serve patients.

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

  • Inquire Faithfully: 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: 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’ll model the need for “Sabbath Rest” as a means for personal renewal and true care of self to optimally serve others. You’ll also incorporate the characteristics of a servant leader, including humility, courage, forgiveness, and discernment.
  • Communicate Faithfully: Actively engage in the dynamic interactive process that’s both 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: Integrate the ordinary work* by complying with and adhering to regulatory and professional standards (e.g American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics, California Board of Registered Nursing, Scope of Nursing Practice, School Of Nursing Handbook). This includes taking responsibility, being accountable for all actions, and treating others with respect and dignity.
  • Care Faithfully: 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.”

Making a lasting impact on patients and families

Upon completion of PLNU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing you’ll be equipped with knowledge of how to provide quality care and support in the medical field. The nursing program prepares you with a versatile set of skills to flourish in a variety of settings within nursing positions or departmental management. 

If you’re ready to make an impact with a nursing degree and begin your journey at PLNU, get connected with one of our counselors to support and answer any questions you may have. Or, you can apply today!

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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

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. 

See concurrent enrollment page for separate requirements.

Can I work while completing the program?

This online program is designed for someone to be able to maintain a full-time job while attending classes.

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. The concurrent enrollment program accepts up to 6 credits for those who have completed a different bachelor’s degree program. 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. Concurrent enrollment allows you to simultaneously complete your ADN and BSN in as few as two academic years (six semesters).

How many days a week do classes meet?

The online RN to BSN has no in-person classes. Students should expect fully online classes, discussion boards and readings. Concurrent enrollment classes are also all online.

RN to BSN is also offered as a hybrid program, which meets in-person one evening per week.

How large will the classes be?

Class sizes are estimated to be 15 to 20 people.

Are international students eligible to apply?

Unfortunately, international students are not eligible to apply for our online programs. You are only eligible if you reside in one of our authorized states. Visit our disclosures page to learn more.

If you are a military spouse or serving overseas, contact military services.

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?

Yes. The RN to BSN program requires e-books, with an approximate total cost of $500-600 throughout the program.

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 Foundational Explorations requirements, but you will have to pay the rate for whatever program that class is in.

Concurrent enrollment allows you to simultaneously complete your ADN and BSN in as few as two academic years (six semesters).

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 2.0 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. 

The concurrent enrollment program does require taking courses from a community college and PLNU simultaneously.

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 not required prior to term three of the program, so no need to send the university a copy.

What types of benefits or aid do you have for military members?

  • PLNU offers a tuition discount flat rate of $250 per unit for all active duty service members who enroll in one of the following PLNU Adult Undergraduate Degree Programs: Bachelor of Business Administration, Organizational Leadership B.A, Child Development B.A., RN to BSN, Criminal Justice B.A., Computer Information Technology B.A., Strategic Communications B.A., Integrated Studies with an Emphasis in Education B.A.
  • PLNU accepts VA educational benefits, including the Post 9/11 GI Bill®.
  • PLNU also participates as a Yellow Ribbon School, which means in most cases you can pursue a private education without having to pay out-of-pocket, not even for fees or books.
  • Because you are a person who has provided military service to our country, we will also waive your application fee.

Can I take a semester off?

PLNU’s RN to BSN program offers you the flexibility to earn your degree and is sensitive to your personal needs and limits. This program allows you to take a term off and resume later if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Course List

For information about the courses required for the RN to BSN, Online program, view the PLNU Catalog.

Course Information