Nursing, LVN to BSN

Program Overview

Are you endlessly curious about the human body and what fosters its potential for health and healing? Do you have a desire to compassionately care for others in the midst of their pain and weakness? If so, you should consider a career in nursing. Earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from PLNU will allow you to combine your passion for healthcare with your longing for meaningful and even sacred work.

PLNU’s School of Nursing (SON) is highly respected in the San Diego community, so our graduates are actively sought after. The education you will receive from this rigorous program balances a focus on the human and spiritual aspects of nursing, as well as the physical and technical skills necessary to faithfully serve patients.

From your first semester, you will be working with patients using cutting-edge technology in a variety of clinical settings, providing you with over 1,100 clinical hours by graduation day — an advantage unique to PLNU. Our nursing program is also set apart by the genuine care shown by our committed faculty. Your professors will know you personally and hold you accountable in both your studies and in learning a healthy work-life balance that so often alludes professional nurses. Finally, you will benefit from a faith-based curriculum, an emphasis on servant leadership, and the lifelong support of our SON community.

Licensures and Professional Certifications:

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.

Rose McCracken headshot

Student Profile

Rose McCracken

Caring for others’ needs has always been natural for Rose (McCracken) Johnson (10). As a nursing major at PLNU, she was encouraged and prepared for her calling and career as an RN.

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The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master's degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at Point Loma Nazarene University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (  

Course List


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Are you ready to take the next step to begin your PLNU journey? Whether you’re a high school senior, college transfer student, or international student, find out what we’re looking for in our applicants and how you can apply.

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Transfer Nursing Applicants: PLNU is NOT accepting applications into our 3 year BSN or LVN to BSN Programs for the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years, and PLNU does not admit Pre-Nursing transfer students.

Advanced Placement Policy For Licensed Vocational Nurses

LVN’s who are licensed in California may be eligible to be considered for direct transfer of course credit and/or credit by examination. The principle objective is for the Advanced Placement student to graduate with knowledge and skills equivalent to the generic graduate of the nursing program, without unnecessary repetition of courses or course work. Students who desire advanced placement will receive individual counseling to determine eligibility and to facilitate their progress. The LVN-to-BSN program will take 2.5 years to complete.

Criteria for Admission

  • California LVN License.
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in all college coursework.
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses (for entry into the program) with minimum grade of “C” (2.00).
  • Evidence of good health. Physical exam must be completed within six months prior to entering clinical nursing courses. Form is available in the Nursing Office upon acceptance to the program.

  • One (1) year recent experience in acute care setting.

Throughout the curriculum (whether Pre-Nursing or Nursing) students may repeat only one prerequisite or one Nursing course or one prerequisite to a specific nursing course. With the need for a second repeat of any pre-requisite of Nursing course or prerequisite to a specific nursing course, the student will be dismissed from the nursing program. If there are two repeats of prerequisite courses in Pre-Nursing, the student will not be eligible for application to the nursing major.

Completion of prerequisite courses needed prior to entering subsequent nursing courses (as designated on the curriculum outline) with a minimum grade of “C” (2.00).

Application Procedures

  1. Apply to PLNU for admission.
  2. Complete separate application process for School of Nursing, including letter of reference.
  3. Complete ATI RN Fundamentals, Form B - Level 3 Exam. This will be given by appointment in the School of Nursing.



  1. Eight units of theory credit will be granted for NSG 250/251 and NSG 260/261, through the successful completion of the ATI RN Fundamentals, Form B – Level 3 Exam.
  2. A minimum score of 76% must be achieved. You may take the exam only 1 time.
  3. Exam administered by appointment through School of Nursing. When all prerequisites are complete, contact the School of Nursing Program Coordinator.


Evaluation of clinical performance may be required from Supervisor of applicant.

Applicant must have at least 1 year recent experience in acute care setting.

Other Requirements

Advanced Placements Students must:

  • Meet PLNU residence requirements by:
  1. Completing a minimum of 21 upper division units in nursing at PLNU.
  2. Taking at least 36 units of degree at PLNU
  • Complete the same pre-requisite and general education courses required of the BSN generic students.

LVN 30 Unit Option

The nursing program has an LVN 30 Unit Option. This option will take four consecutive semesters to complete. This non-degree track is separate from the Bachelor of Science Degree program, but does allow the LVN to complete the option courses and take the California State RN license examination. Information is available upon request from the School of Nursing.

Admission is on a space-available basis.

Per agreement with the San Diego Nursing Service Education Consortium and affiliated hospitals, a background check and drug screen will be required prior to your first clinical experience. If a flag occurs from either your background check or drug screening, it will result in immediate dismissal from the Point Loma Nazarene University BSN program. You will be given further information and directions to complete upon acceptance to the BSN program.

Health Status

Once accepted into the BSN program, students must provide evidence that they are physically and emotionally able to perform the duties required. A physical examination by a healthcare provider with information completed on a form provided by the SON is necessary. The examination includes current immunizations and tests as required by the SON.


Once accepted into the BSN program, students must provide evidence of a current American Heart Association "BLS for Healthcare Providers" card. Cards from the Red Cross are not acceptable.

Professional Licensure or Certification


PLNU cannot confirm whether or not specific programs meet out-of-state requirements for Professional Licensure or Certification. 

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

Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student 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.

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 and equips you to become a purposeful and trustworthy leader in your workplace.

Eugene Mamarial Headshot

Student Profile

Eugene Mamarial

Lieutenant Eugene Mamaril, NC, USN, graduated from PLNU with his B.S. in Nursing in 2010. He has since earned his M.S. in Nursing from Duke University and is currently working toward his Ph.D. from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

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Annie Gerhart with Healthcare Colleagues

Annie Gerhart: Living and Working with an Open Heart

PLNU’s Annie Gerhart (83) and her meaningful and rich career as a nurse.

Read More in the Viewpoint Online Magazine