RN to BSN Degree Completion Program


Miles Scott
PLNU Program Advisor
Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges

Elias Garcia 
PLNU Program Advisor
Southwestern College

At PLNU, we understand that the work of a nurse is sacred. Your work spans the whole of the human experience—birth, growth, maturity, death. To be an effective nurse, you need more than skills and technology. You need compassion, caring, and an understanding of the spiritual needs of patients.

PLNU’s School of Nursing is built on a foundation of faithfulness: to self, to family, and to the profession. Its five core values of communicating, caring, inquiring, leading, and following faithfully will provide you with a solid foundation for your professional nursing career and lifelong learning.

PLNU has partnered with community colleges in San Diego to offer a convenient program for working nurses tailored to accommodate your work and life commitments. The hands-on, evidence-based instruction, mentoring, and practical clinical component of our BSN degree will build on the educational experience you have already achieved in earning your RN license.

Faithfully serve others - and fulfill your purpose.

Work for a Magnet Hospital

Hospitals with a Magnet status have adopted similar standards to the Institute of Medicine, which calls for the proportions of nurses with baccalaureate degrees to be increased by 80 percent by 2020. In many cases, RN’s must be enrolled in a BSN program to be hired or to advance.

Gain Career Advancement

As a BSN-prepared nurse, you can gain merit increases and qualify for leadership positions. PLNU’s strong nursing reputation in San Diego and alumni network set the stage for your long-term professional success after graduation.

Balance Your Commitments

With in-person instruction only one night a week as well as online class time, you can earn a PLNU degree while still balancing life’s commitments. Choose a program at a community college partner location that is near work or home.

Expected Completion Time

15 months

Program FormatHybrid (online and face-to-face instruction)
LocationPLNU at City College
PLNU at Grossmont
PLNU at MiraCosta
PLNU at Palomar
PLNU at Southwestern
Needed Units to Graduate

36 (Upon graduation a total of 120 units is required, i.e. 70+ units from your ADN and 15 units for the NCLEX-RN. Students must have an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) to be eligible.)

Program Start Date

Spring 2017: January 23, 2017
Summer 2017: May 29, 2017
Fall 2017: September 11, 2017


$470 per unit for the 2017-2018 academic year

Quality & Experience


The Center for Student Success and Career Development provides financial, academic, and career support for students, giving them the tools they need to be successful at PLNU and beyond.

Learn More

Ready to get started?

Cathy McJannet
Southwestern College, Director of Nursing and Health Occupations Programs |

Having worked with PLNU nursing faculty and students for a number of years, I have witnessed firsthand the excellence in nursing education provided by PLNU.

Program Outcomes

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 that service to others is optimally achieved. You will incorporate the characteristics of a servant leader, including humility, courage, forgiveness, 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, The 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.”

Program Prerequisites

Students must have completed or be currently enrolled in an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) program in order to be eligible. A current California RN license is required prior to Term 3 of the program. There may be some additional coursework to fulfill the GE requirements

Important Dates

Program Start Date(s):

Spring 2017: January 23, 2017
Summer 2017: May 29, 2017
Fall 2017: September 11, 2017

Application Deadline(s):

Spring 2017: December 23, 2016

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


Michelle Federe Riingen, RN, DNP, CNS-BC

Michelle Riingen

RN to BSN Director, Associate Dean and Professor, School of Nursing |

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

The Selection Process

We understand that your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it’s a reflection of you as a person. That’s why we are committed to reviewing your application 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 minimum age of 21 with significant work experience.

Application Checklist

  • Submit official transcripts from each institution attended. 
    • Official transcripts must be sent to:
      Point Loma Nazarene University Office of Admissions
      3900 Lomaland Dr.
      San Diego, CA 92106
  • Submit online application for admission.
  • Submit a 200-250 word essay to one question with your online application in APA format addressing:

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

Financial Aid

The Center for Student Success and Career Development is committed to assist you throughout your educational journey. Your Student Success Advisor will walk you through your payment options, which may include federal student loans, grants, employer tuition reimbursement, military benefits, and the Tuition Installment Plan. We encourage you to reach out to your Student Services Counselor to learn about the financial opportunities available to you.

Still have questions? Our enrollment counselors are here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the admission requirements?

  • RN to BSN program application
  • Conferred associate degree in nursing from a regionally accredited school
  • Successfully completed an associate degree or diploma program in nursing from an ACEN accredited* program
  • Active and unencumbered licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN) required before 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) 
    • ​There may be some additional coursework to fulfill the GE requirements

How many start dates are there each year?

Cohort groups start at the beginning of each summer, fall and spring.

Where do I send transcripts and test scores?

Official transcripts and supporting documents should be mailed to:

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

Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to

Are international students eligible to apply for this program?

Students seeking to receive credit at the university from an institution outside the United States are required to have their foreign transcript evaluated by a service that is 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.

How do I apply?

Begin your application online

Do you accept transfer credits into your program?

Yes, the easiest way is to transfer in with you ADN degree, but there are options for those who have received an RN without an ADN or have less transferable credits. Please speak with the Site Coordinator 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 of the cohorts that will graduate in May and be accepted in fall? 

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

Are textbooks required?

Once you are officially admitted, you can access your book list through PLNU’s portal; books will be provided for you and given to you in class. Some will be yours to keep, others will be required to be turned 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, bio-statistics, etc.)

Yes. Statistics must be taken prior to the last 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 in order to meet that pre-requisite. 

How many days a week do classes meet?

Classes will meet once a week from 6:00p.m. to 10:00p.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; however you would 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.

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

We have practicums that are aligned with courses in terms one, three and four. You will have an instructor that will coordinate finding a practicum, they 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 1 unit of practicum time equates to 40 hours of clinical time in addition to completion of associated assignments. 

How long does it take to complete the program?

The program can be completed in as few as 15 months.

Where can I see the course descriptions?

Please ask the Site Coordinator for a list and description of the curriculum. 

Are there clinical requirements for the RN to BSN degree?

Yes, there are 3 practicums that are 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 will require assessing and implementing a health plan to fulfill requirement for PHN Certificate.

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 upon previous semester’s knowledge, and to build relationships with fellow students in the cohort. 

How are payments submitted to the university?

  • Mail checks or money orders to: 

Point Loma Nazarene University
Attn: Cashiers
3900 Lomaland Drive, San Diego, CA 92106

  • Online – Pay via the student portal, , in the student support section.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, you may qualify for assistance based on your circumstances. To find out, contact the Site Coordinator or follow these steps:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. PLNU’s federal code is 00126200.
  • Submit your GPA Verification form (required for Cal Grant)
  • Complete the admission process for the RN to BSN degree completion program.
  • Review account and complete any additional paperwork that is requested by the SFS office. Check your PLNU email for updates.

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? 

The student receives a roadmap that is available prior to their application, since the classes are taken one at a time, this will be a very easy to follow degree plan. Any questions, clarification regarding the roadmap can be asked of the Site Coordinator. 

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

You do not need to provide a copy of your RN license—just fill in the RN license number on your application.

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


Adjunct Faculty
Quiban spent many years as a medical-telemetry nurse including surgical, orthopedic, and oncology patients in acute settings.
Associate Dean & Professor, Director of RN-BSN Program
Michelle Riingen has enjoyed a career as a nurse educator in both the university and acute care hospital settings. She is a board certified Clinical Nurse Specialist.
Assistant Professor
Dr. Sawyer is a psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner and has a wide range of mental health experiences, working with children, adolescents, and adults in outpatient and inpatient psychiatric settings.

List of Courses

NRS 350 Communicating and Following Faithfully (4 units)

This course examines the role of the professional nurse and utilizes self-reflection to internalize the value of being faithful to those placed in trust. This course explores Christian nursing history, scholarly writing, research, theory, and the legal/ethical foundations for practice in the professional role. This course explores the role of the nurse within the context of Christian service and caring and will analyze major nursing concepts including therapeutic communication and health informatics. Current trends in nursing management and servant leadership for communication, decision making and management of groups are also investigated. This course prepares the student for NSG 360 and NSG 370.ILO: 1,2,3. Core Competency: Oral Communication, Information Literacy, Written Communication. PLO: Caring, Communicating, Following. **BSN Essential: I, II, IV, VI, VII, VII, VIII, IX

NRS 351 Following Faithfully Practicum (1 unit)

This practicum will provide the opportunity for the student to apply the role of professional nurse in a variety of contexts. ILO: 1,2,3. Core Competency: Oral Communication, Information Literacy, Written Communication. PLO: Caring, Communicating, Following. **BSN Essential: I, II, IV, VI, VII, VII, VIII, IX

NRS 360 Inquiring Faithfully I: Nursing Research (2 units)

This course will focus on analysis and critique of the science of nursing. This course introduces foundational concepts and inquiry techniques in research. Quantitative and qualitative methods are examined through individual and small group work in basic research utilization to identify best practices in health care. ILO: 1, 2. Core Competency: Written Communication, Critical Thinking, Quantitative Reasoning, Information Literacy. PLO: Inquiring, Communicating. **BSN Essential: II, III, IV, VI, VII, VIII, IX

NRS 420 Caring Faithfully in the Community (4 units)

This course introduces the role of the nurse within the context of Christian service and caring. Students will explore the environmental, multi-cultural, and global issues related to nursing in the community as a vocational calling. The focus is on the health of populations with emphasis on epidemiology, health promotion, health protection, disease prevention, health policy, health care delivery systems, and cultural competency. ILO: Learning, Growing, Serving. Core Competency: Written Communication, Oral Communication, Critical Thinking. PLO: Caring, Communicating, Following, Inquiring. **BSN Essential: II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX

NRS 421 Caring Faithfully in the Community Practicum (1 unit)

This practicum will provide the opportunity for the student to apply community health issues in a variety of contexts. An emphasis on critical synthesis from nursing and the social sciences as it relates to individuals will focus on healthcare conditions associated with patients, families and communities. ILO: Learning, Growing, Serving. Core Competency: Written Communication, Oral Communication, Critical Thinking. PLO: Caring, Communicating, Following, Inquiring. **BSN Essential: II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX

NRS 430 Leading Faithfully in Diverse Health Systems (4 units)

This course explores nursing theory as it relates to trends and issues in healthcare management including analysis and synthesis of the professional nurse role. Reflective practice will focus is leadership theories and styles within multiple healthcare environments.  Content includes nursing theory as it relates to leadership/management principles, career development, communication, leading change, problem solving/decision making, coordinating client care, conflict management, interdisciplinary team approaches, cultural diversity, managing personal and organizational resources, legal, ethical and political influences on the professional nurse role. ILO: Learning, Growing, Serving. Core Competency: Written Communication, Critical Thinking, Information Literacy. PLO: Inquiring, Communicating, Following, Leading. **BSN Essential: II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX

NRS 431 Leading Faithfully in Diverse Health Systems Practicum (1 unit)

This practicum will provide the opportunity for the student to apply leadership principles in a variety of contexts. ILO: Learning, Growing, Serving. Core Competency: Written Communication, Critical Thinking, Information Literacy. PLO: Inquiring, Communicating, Following, Leading. **BSN Essential: II, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX

NRS 440 Capstone Inquiring Faithfully II: Evidence Based Practice (4 units)

This culminating course will provide the learner with the opportunity to apply evidence based principles to the workplace. A project will demonstrate successful completion of learning outcomes for the university and the School of Nursing. This course will apply the process of Evidence Based Practice (EBP) and theoretical foundations.  The EBP content will center on the development of clinical practice questions and review of the literature.  Students will gain knowledge and develop skills to determine the quality of research evidence. Research evidence will also be explored for proposed application to improve clinical practice. ILO: Learning, Growing. Core Competency: Written Communication, Oral Communication, Critical Thinking, Quantitative Reasoning, Information Literacy. PLO: Inquiring, Caring, Communicating, Following, Leading. **BSN Essential: I, II, III, IV, VI, VIII, IX

Total Nursing Units   21 units

**American Association of Colleges of Nursing The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice

  • I. Liberal Education for Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice
  • II. Basic Organizational and Systems Leadership for Quality Care and Patient Safety
  • III. Scholarship for Evidence-Based Practice
  • IV. Information Management and Application of Patient Care Technology
  • V. Healthcare Policy, Finance, and Regulatory Environments
  • VI. Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration for Improving Patient Health Outcomes
  • VII. Clinical Prevention and Population Health
  • VIII. Professionalism and Professional Values
  • IX. Baccalaureate Generalist Nursing Practice

Non-nursing Courses

WRT 300 Professional Writing (3 units)

This course is designed to help students improve and polish their professional writing skills within the healthcare profession. Specifically, students will learn to write and deliver various professional reports, and compose professional routine and persuasive letters.

SCL-302 Group and Organizational Behavior (4)

This course focuses on human behavior in organizations, emphasizing theoretical concepts and practical methods for understanding, analyzing, and predicting individual, group, and organizational behavior. Topics include work motivation, group dynamics, decision making, and organizational culture. Students will be introduced to behavior in organizations on interpersonal, group and inter-group levels. Group process is examined on concept and experiential levels to enhance understanding of interpersonal and group processes. Theories of Social Psychology and Group Psychology are reviewed and applied to current situations in the business environment.

BST-304 Biblical Perspectives  (4)

This course reflects PLNU’s commitment, as a Christian liberal arts college, to nurturing an appreciation for Scripture as the basis for creative personal faith and human life in the modern world. It is designed to foster knowledge and understanding of the literature and history of the Bible and to integrate faith, learning, and living.

SCL-401 Cultural Influences in the Workplace (4)

This course examines the increasingly diverse workplace and the need to expand our understanding of cultural influences on values, behaviors and forms of communication. It is an opportunity to recognize our own cultural influences in the workplace, situations that result from cross-cultural miscommunication or misunderstanding, and developing strategies to ensure cross cultural competency. Rather than a course on political correctness, students will build their cultural competence through the application of Christian virtues that inform acceptance and love in a world of segregation and intolerance.

Why PLNU? No matter which PLNU program you decide is right for you, you'll discover the hallmark PLNU experience is designed to give every student the clear framework and professional tools to stand out in his or her field.

Established in 1902, PLNU is located in beautiful San Diego. Our small class sizes, focused faculty attention, and convenient online offerings are just a few of the powerful ways PLNU delivers real value to every student, no matter which physical or virtual campus he or she chooses.