Nursing

School of Nursing

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is the EL MSN program designed?

A: This program gives students credit for having completed their liberal arts requirements and allows them to complete an abbreviated schedule of undergraduate nursing coursework before moving directly into graduate nursing courses –combining preparation for RN-licensure with advanced training in a master's specialty area.

Q: Does the EL MSN program prepare me to become a licensed RN (Registered Nurse)?

A: Yes. The program provides Board of Registered Nurses (BRN) approved coursework and clinical experiences needed in preparation for the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) to practice as a registered nurse in California only.

Q: How will a graduate nursing degree make me more competitive in the job market?

A: Graduate nursing students are highly sought after by employers for their maturity, adaptability, initiative, attitude, resourcefulness, and excellent critical thinking skills. With their diverse work experience and varied educational background, EL MSN graduates bring a wealth of insights and perspectives to the nursing profession.

Q: When will I become a nurse?

A: The first four semesters of the EL MSN program (approximately 16 months) will prepare you for the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX). Upon passing this exam, you will be licensed as a registered nurse prepared to practice nursing at the bedside in a hospital setting. Once licensed and employed as a Registered Nurse, students continue part-time to complete the post-licensure coursework to earn a Master of Science in Nursing in a specialty area.

Q: What is the difference between the BSN and the EL MSN?

A: The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is an undergraduate program that allows students to complete a bachelor’s degree as they prepare to become registered nurses (RNs). Typically these students are first-time freshmen and/or transfer students. The EL MSN program is a graduate program designed for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree and are looking to transition into nurse leadership roles.

Q: What is the difference between the MSN and the EL MSN program?

A: Both programs are graduate nursing programs; however, the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is designed for students who already have a bachelors of science degree in Nursing (BSN) and are looking to further their nursing education. The EL MSN program is designed for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline who are looking to transition into nursing.

Q: What is the program's NCLEX pass rate?

A: EL MSN students have consistently high pass rates. Updated pass rates can be found at the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website at http://www.rn.ca.gov/schools/passrates.shtml

Q: What are the admission requirements for the EL MSN program?

A: For the Summer 2015 program: All applicants are required to submit an application via nursingCAS and follow the program specific requirements, application fee, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a personal essay, RN Pre-Entrance Exam (PAX-RN) results, a GRE score is recommended, however not required. In addition, an interview is required. Not all qualified applicants will be invited for an interview. 

Q: Do you offer the program part-time or online?

A: Currently, the pre-licensure portion of the program (4 semesters) is offered as a full time/day time program; the post-licensure courses (7-8 semesters) are offered part time/one night per week. Neither of these programs offers an online option. 

Q: Is the EL MSN program accelerated?

A: Yes. Students complete all pre-licensure nursing coursework in an accelerated format (full time, day time, 4 semesters) in preparation for a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Then the program shifts to a part time schedule for the Master’s degree courses (post-licensure).

Q: How do you determine who is selected for the program?

A: The Graduate Nursing Admissions Committee reviews all applicants and students are selected based on various criteria including GPA, science GPA, essay, recommendations, entrance exam and practical experience.

Q: How can I position myself as a strong applicant?

A: Given the competitive applicant pool, we recommend you submit a thorough and complete application packet prior to the deadline. Your ability to articulate why you want to be a nurse weighs heavily in the evaluation process. This should be clearly communicated in your essay and interview. Volunteer or work experience in a hospital/healthcare facility provides an added advantage.

Q: Do I have to have hospital/healthcare experience before I can apply to the EL MSN program?

A: Some exposure to hospital/healthcare settings is highly recommended. Interacting with patients and healthcare professionals is essential to creating a foundation that promotes the critical thinking and clinical decision making necessary for the development and practice of sound nursing skills.

Q: Can I complete the pre-licensure portion of the program only?

A: No. The EL MSN is a graduate program designed for those who desire to transition professionally into the field of nursing and desire to earn a Master of Science in Nursing.

Q: Do I have to complete a bachelor degree in nursing (BSN) before I can enter the EL MSN program?

A: No. Applicants may enter the program with a bachelor degree in arts or science from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants are, however required to complete certain prerequisites and admission requirements to be eligible for the EL MSN program.

Q: How long is the program?

A: It takes approximately 3 ½ to 4 years to complete the pre and post licensure EL MSN program.

Q: How much does the program cost?

A: For current tuition information please click here.

The EL MSN program consists of 109-125 units (pre and post licensure); the MSN program is 45-61 units. The number of units varies depending on the concentration.

Q: What concentrations do you offer?

A:  Healthcare Systems Management, Teaching-Learning (Education), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)-Adult-Gerontology, or Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).

Q: Are you on a semester or quarter system?

A: CBU has three semesters: fall, spring, and summer.

Q: How many students do you accept per year?

A: We admit 40 students to the EL MSN program per year.

Q: What are the program entry dates?

A: The EL MSN program offers one start date per year in early May (summer semester).

Q: When is the application deadline?

A: Summer 2015 applicants: Friday, December 5, 2014 is the deadline; however we recommend you submit your application materials by September 30th to be invited to our applicant workshop in early October. All final transcripts must be received by Friday, January 15, 2015.

Q: What is the minimum GPA for the EL MSN program?

A: The minimum GPA is 3.0. GPA calculations are based on cumulative, last 60 semester units or 90 quarter units (whichever is higher). Coursework taken after your bachelor’s degree is also included in the calculation.

Q: Once I apply, when will I find out if I am accepted to the program?

A: A complete application means that ALL required application materials have been received, including completion of all prerequisites, letters of recommendation, essay, transcripts, and test scores. All admission documents must be received and verified by NursingCAS. Upon completion of a successful interview, applicants will be selected and a letter will be sent within a couple of weeks.

Q: Can I work while I am in the EL MSN program?

A: Applicants are advised that the pre-licensure portion of the program requires a very intensive, full-time commitment from students. It is recommended they not work or entertain other commitments outside of the program while preparing for licensure. Once the pre-licensure portion is completed, the MSN post-licensure portion is part-time and designed for the working professional.

Q: Will I be required to complete a practicum (clinical rotation hours) as part of the program?

A: Yes, all pre-licensure and MSN specialty courses require clinical practicum hours as mandated by the California Board of Registered Nurses (BRN). The CBU School of Nursing meets or exceeds all clinical hour requirements.

Q: Does admission as a pre-nursing student guarantee acceptance to the EL MSN program?

A: No, once the pre-nursing courses are complete, the other admission documents must be submitted for the review process. The program is competitive and acceptance is based on the review of all of the admissions requirements.

Q: If I am accepted as a pre-nursing student, do I have to reapply or resubmit any documents for the EL MSN program?

A: If you submitted a graduate pre-nursing packet prior to Sept. 30, 2013 a separate graduate nursing paper application and recommendations must be submitted.

If you applied to the graduate pre-nursing program via NursingCAS, then you do not need to reapply if you do not change the program date you are apply for. For example, if you chose the graduate pre-nursing application in preparation for the summer 2015 EL MSN cohort, but decide to apply to the summer 2016 program instead, a new application in its entirety must be completed.