Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the Master of Science in Nursing Program (MSN)?
A: This is a part-time post-baccalaureate program designed for working California Registered Nurses who hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) from a regionally accredited institution and are seeking to broaden their theoretical knowledge base to prepare for an advanced practice leadership role and/or doctoral study.
Q: What is the School of Nursing's reputation in the community?
A: The School of Nursing has an excellent reputation in the community, as does the university. We anticipate our graduates will be actively recruited by local and state health care providers. CBU is the first four-year regionally and nationally accredited university in the County of Riverside to be approved for such a program.
Q: Is this program accredited?
A: The California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) has approved the program. CBU is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). The baccalaureate program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The MSN program is currently completing additional accreditation for the CCNE.
Q: How long is the program?
The MSN program takes approximately 2 to 2 ½ years. Post Master’s Credentialing can be completed in 1 to 2 years.
Q: How much does the program cost?
A: 2012-2013 tuition cost for graduate nursing classes is $595 per unit. For current tuition information please click here. The MSN program is 45-61 units; the Post Master’s Credentialing option is 20-34 units. The number of units varies depending on the concentration.
Q: What concentrations do you offer?
A: Once students complete all MSN core course requirements, they may then select a concentration in Healthcare Systems Management, Teaching-Learning (Education), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)-Adult-Gerontology, or Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).
Q: What is the application fee? Can it be waived?
A: The application fee is $45. It is non-refundable and will be waived when you attend an information session.
Q: Are you on a semester or quarter system?
A: CBU has three semesters: fall, spring, and summer.
Q: What is the program format?
A: MSN classes are offered one night per week from 3:00pm to 9:30pm. The night of the week remains the same throughout your program to better accommodate the working RN's schedule.
Q: How many students do you accept per year?
A: MSN cohorts do not have a limit on the number of accepted students; however, most cohorts consist of 15-20 students.
Q: What are the program entry dates?
A: The MSN program begins in the fall and spring semesters.
Q: When is the application deadline?
A: MSN applicants are asked to complete their admissions file at least 30 days prior to the start date of the semester in which they are applying.
Q: Am I required to attend an Information Session?
A: We highly recommend you RSVP to attend an information session as we discuss pertinent details of the program and clarify admission guidelines, prerequisite courses, financial aid, etc.
Q: Is the GRE required?
A: Yes. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for both graduate nursing programs.
Q: What is the GRE?
A: The Graduate Record Examinations® (GRE®) General Test measures verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking and analytical writing skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study.
Q: Why is the GRE required?
A: The GRE® Subject Tests gauge undergraduate achievement in eight specific fields of study and is often required for admission into a master's degree program.
Q: Is there a minimum score required for the GRE?
A: No, currently there is no minimum score required.
Q: Does the GRE expire?
A: Yes. Current GRE board policy states that scores are reportable for 5 years.
Q: Where do I take the GRE? A: For the most up-to-date list of computer-based testing centers, check the online registration system on the GRE website.
Q: Do I have to submit all admission documents at the same time?
A: No, you can submit your documents as they are completed.
Q: Where can I find the recommendation letters and other important admissions forms?
A: Go to the school of nursing forms and scholarships link.
Q: What is the minimum GPA 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: What if my GPA is below the minimum requirement?
A: To overcome a low GPA, you can take additional classes from an accredited university or community college. We recommend you take classes that are relevant to nursing and health science. Every additional grade that is posted to your transcript, regardless of the subject, will be considered in the calculation of your final GPA.
Q: What if I cannot get an academic reference because I graduated years ago?
A: In cases like this, whether it is due to length of time or perhaps you have lost contact with a professor, we will accept an academic reference from someone who has delivered/facilitated some type of workshop, seminar, or continued education/training courses.
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. Once all items are on file, a letter will be sent within a couple of weeks.
Q: When should I complete my health clearances?
A: Upon acceptance to the program, instructions will be given with details about health clearances, background check and drug screening.
Q: What is the view on the current state of nursing?
A: According to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice(NACNEP), registered nurses practice in a far more complex environment than in the past brought about by continuing changes in delivery of health care; rapid advances in technology, drug therapy, and equipment; increasing number of older adults with multiple chronic conditions, and expanding diversity of the country’s residents.
Q: What are the future projections for nursing?
A: Barring significant changes in the flow of entrants into nursing, projections show that the supply of RNs will decline within about 10 years and that, by 2020, the RN workforce will be 20 percent below projected requirements. (NACNEP)
Q: Is there a shortage of nurses?
A: Yes, one of the causes of the current shortage is an aging population of nurses. Recently, the severe shortage of nurses prepared at the graduate level has received increased attention and is often cited as being even more critical than the shortage of nurses prepared at the baccalaureate or associate degree level.
Q: How do graduate nursing programs address the nursing shortage?
A: The National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice (NACNEP) promote graduate education as an avenue for acquiring the advanced knowledge necessary for specialized nursing and health care; managing and directing nursing in the varied complex clinical care settings, and educating the next generation of nursing students.
Q: Why should I pursue an advanced practice degree?
A: Post-Masters credentialing will allow you to earn an advanced nursing degree will enhance career prospects, offer a wider range of employment opportunities, increase salary potential, and give a competitive edge in the workforce.
Q: How will this degree prepare me to better serve my patients?
A: Studies show master’s prepared nurses are more likely to demonstrate professional behaviors important to patient safety including better clinical judgment, problem solving, performance of complex functions, effective communication, and early detection of complications and problems in care.
Q: Can MSN students work and go to school?
A: Yes, the MSN program format is designed for students to attend 2 classes one night per week.
Q: What are the prerequisites for the MSN program?
A: MSN students have two prerequisites: statistics and computer literacy.
Q: Do you offer the program part-time or online?
A: Currently the program is only offered part time and we do not offer an online option.
Q: Will I be required to complete a practicum (clinical rotation hours) as part of the program?
A: Yes, the School of Nursing adheres to all clinical hour requirements for each MSN specialty that requires clinical practicum hours as mandated by the California Board of Registered Nurses (BRN).
Q: I already have an MSN degree. Can I take one of the concentrations you offer?
A: Yes. Post-Masters credentialing is for licensed Registered Nurses who hold an MSN degree from a regionally accredited institution.
Q: What concentrations do you offer?
A: We offer the following concentrations: Healthcare Systems Management, Teaching-Learning (Education), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)-Adult-Gerontology, or Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).
Q: When can I apply for credentialing?
A: The graduate student is eligible to apply for credentialing after successful completion of MSN coursework in their chosen concentration, required clinical hours have been completed, and any other criteria (such as work experience) deemed necessary by the appropriate certification agency have been met.
Q: Can I pursue a PhD or a DNP after I complete the MSN program?
A: Yes. MSN graduates are encouraged to apply to Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs to further their education. PhD programs prepare nurses to lead and conduct research projects in the healthcare field while DNP programs train nurses to utilize research evidence in practice.
Q: How many units do I have to take to get financial aid?
A: At the graduate level, five (5) units are considered part-time and nine (9) units are considered full-time for financial aid purposes.
Q: Can I speak with someone in the Financial Aid Office?
A: Once you apply to the program, file your FAFSA and check the CBU financial aid website for tips, you can contact the financial Aid Office for further assistance.
Q: When will I know how much financial aid I can receive?
A: You will receive an offer of financial aid once you register for classes and CBU receives your electronic copy of your FAFSA.
Q: Are student loans income or credit based?
A: No, your award amount is based on need as determined by the results of your FAFSA. Other loans (i.e. the grad plus loan) may have different award criteria.
Q: My bachelor's degree is from a foreign university. Do I have to get it evaluated?
A: Yes. Prior to submitting an application to the School of Nursing, applicants must have all foreign transcripts evaluated by a Credential Evaluation Service to confirm their academic equivalency to educational standards of accredited colleges and universities in the United States. Please submit a copy of the evaluation report with your nursing application.
Q: Which credential evaluation service do you recommend?
A: International Education Research Foundation, Inc (IERF)
P.O. Box 3665, Culver City, CA 90231-3655
Office: 310- 258-9451; Fax: 310-342-7086
Q: I am a registered nurse with a degree from another country. Can I take a class at CBU to fulfill the requirements for RN licensure in California?
A: Currently CBU only allows nursing students who are accepted into the program to take classes. We do not offer any stand-alone courses to individuals who are not in the program.
Q: Where can I find more information about applying to CBU as an international student?
A: Please visit our website at www.calbaptist.edu/international