FAQs

About the Program
Application
Entrance Exam
Prerequisites
Financial Aid
International

 

About the Program

1. Is this program accredited?
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 master’s degree program in nursing at California Baptist University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).

2. What is the difference between the BSN and the EL MSN? 
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.

3. What is the difference between the MSN and the EL MSN program? 
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 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.

4. When will I become a nurse?
The EL MSN program provides the education necessary to become a licensed Registered Nurse at a graduate level. Upon completion of the program, students will obtain both their RN liscence and a Master of Science in Nursing degree.

5. Does the EL MSN program prepare me to become a licensed RN (Registered Nurse)?
Yes. The program provides Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) approved coursework and clinical experiences needed in preparation for the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-RN) to practice as a registered nurse in California.

6. What is the program's NCLEX pass rate? 
EL MSN students have consistently high pass rates. Updated pass rates are regularly published on the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website.

7. Do you offer the program in a part-time format? What about online?
No. The EL MSN is a full-time graduate program that is offered on the main campus of CBU. 

8. Is the EL MSN program accelerated?
Partially. Students complete all pre-licensure nursing coursework in an accelerated format in preparation for a normal-paced Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. 

9. Can I complete the pre-licensure portion of the program only?
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. We do not provide a BSN opt-out.

10. How do you determine who is selected for the program?
The Graduate Nursing Admissions Committee reviews all applicants and students are selected based on a holistic review; including various criteria such as cumulative GPA, science GPA, interview, essay, recommendations, entrance exam, and practical experience.

11. Do I have to complete a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) before I can enter the EL MSN program?
No. Applicants may enter the program with a bachelor's degree of a different program from a regionally accredited institution. However, applicants are required to complete certain prerequisites and admission requirements to be eligible for the EL MSN program.

12. How long is the program?
It takes approximately 3 years to complete the pre and post licensure EL MSN program.

13. Are you on a semester or quarter system?
CBU has three semesters: fall, spring, and summer.

14. How many students do you accept per year?
We admit 40 students to the EL MSN program per year.

15. What are the program entry dates? 
The EL MSN program offers one start date per year in early May (summer semester).

16. Can I work while I am in the EL MSN program? 
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. 

17. Will I be required to complete a practicum (clinical rotation hours) as part of the program?
Yes, all pre-licensure and MSN specialty courses require clinical practicum hours as mandated by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). The CBU College of Nursing meets or exceeds all clinical hour requirements.

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

 

Application

1. How can I position myself as a strong applicant?
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.

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

3. When is the application deadline? 
Please refer to the Important Dates webpage for updated application deadlines.

4. What is the minimum GPA for the EL MSN program? 
The minimum GPA is 3.0. GPA calculations are based on comparing cumulative to the last 60 semester/90 quarter units. The higher of the two calculations will be taken. Coursework taken after or before your bachelor's degree is also included in the calculation.

5. Once I apply, when will I find out if I am accepted to the program? 
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 an email will be sent within a couple of weeks.

6. Do I need to re-apply to the EL MSN program for each application cycle?
Yes, starting 2019, applicants need to re-apply to each cycle.

 

Entrance Exam

1. Which entrance exam is required?
We require that all students applying to the EL MSN program take an entrance exam. All applicants will take the RN Pre-Entrance Exam (PAX) administered by the National League for Nursing (NLN). This exam measures your verbal, mathematics, and science aptitude.

2. What is the minimum entrance exam score I need to be eligible to apply to the College of Nursing?
We do not require a minimum score in order to apply to the EL MSN program. Your score is compared to other applicants and it is important to be prepared and score as high as possible, as this is a competitive program.

3. When is the entrance exam offered?
The entrance exam is offered for EL MSN applicants at different times in August and September. If you are out of state and cannot take the exam at CBU, please email one of our nursing Student Services Coordinators for more information. Please visit www.nlnonlinetesting.org to see updated PAX dates (when applicable).

4. Who is eligible to take the entrance exam at CBU?
You may take the entrance exam at CBU if you have an application packet on file. Space is limited for each testing date so it is recommended that you sign up early to secure your desired date. Once a test date is filled no other registration will be accepted for that date.

5. Is there a cost for the entrance exam?
The exam costs $39 and you must pay at the time of online registration.

6. How can I prepare for the PAX exam?
The NLN offers an online resource to aid in each specific content area. You can purchase this resource from www.nlnonlinetesting.org once you are logged in. 

7. How do I register for the PAX exam?
Click here to register for the PAX-RN exam.

8. How many times may I take the PAX exam? 
You may take the exam once each application period.

9. How long does it take to complete the exam?
The test takes approximately 2 hours to complete.

10. When do I take the entrance exam?
We recommend you take the exam after you complete all of the prerequisite courses or during your final semester of prerequisites.

11. Does my entrance exam expire?

Scores are valid for one year from the date of the exam. With the EL MSN program only starting once a year in the summer, scores are valid for one application cycle.

 

Prerequisites

1. What are the prerequisites for the program?
Please see our Prerequisites page for a complete list of courses needed.*

EL MSN applicants must also demonstrate computer literacy as demonstrated by a degree completed (within the last five years), an exam, or by coursework.

*Please note, CBU does not accept online labs.

2. Can I take my prerequisites online?
Yes; however, online science classes (labs) are not acceptable.

3. What if I do not have all of the prerequisites?
Students have several options for completing outstanding prerequisites including CLEP, DANTES, some AP courses, and accredited community colleges and universities. All prerequisites must be completed prior to acceptance to the program with a grade of "C" or better.

4. Can I take prerequisites at CBU?
Yes, students may take prerequisite courses at CBU as a pre-nursing graduate student (prior to applying to the EL MSN program). You may apply for this option via our online application. 

5. Do I have to apply to undergraduate admissions or OPS to take prerequisites?
No, you only need to submit an application to the College of Nursing via nursingCAS.

6. If I am applying to Graduate Pre-Nursing at CBU, do I need to re-apply to the EL MSN program?
Yes. Once you are completing courses as a graduate pre-nursing student, you will need to re-apply to the EL MSN program.

7. What is the format for the science courses and prerequisites?
16 week format (traditional semester-daytime); 8 week online lecture and Saturday lab; and 8 week hybrid courses (combination of online and in class)

8. When can I start taking prerequisite courses for the EL MSN program?
You can begin taking prerequisites in the fall (September), spring (January), or summer (May). 

9. Is there a minimum GPA to take prerequisites at CBU?
The minimum GPA for graduate pre-nursing students is 2.75 (either cumulative or the last 60 semester units/90 quarter units).

10. Can you evaluate my prerequisites for the EL MSN program?
Once your application is received through NursingCAS, we will review your prerequisite coursework and let you know if something is missing. We recommend submitting your application at least 3 months prior to the deadline, to ensure that you have time to complete any outstanding prerequisites.

11. Do my prerequisites have to be completed within the last five years?
No, we currently do not have a recency requirement. This is subject to change.

12. Do I have to complete prerequisites prior to starting the EL MSN program?
All prerequisite coursework must be completed by the end of the fall semester. Final transcripts must be received by December 31.

13. Is there a certain grade requirement for the prerequisite courses?
Yes, you must receive a grade of "C" or better. If you do not obtain this, the course will need to be repeated.


Financial Aid

1. Am I eligible for financial aid as a pre-nursing graduate student?
When you are accepted to Graduate Pre-Nursing, we will connect you with a Financial Aid Advisor who can provide more specific details on what aid may be available to you. Visit www.calbaptist.edu/financialaid for more information.

2. How do I apply for financial aid?
You must submit your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online to the Department of Education for the appropriate academic year.

3. What is your school code for FAFSA?
Our school code is 001125.

4. Can I receive state grants as a graduate student?
Most graduate students are not eligible for state grants. In some cases, students may qualify if they are already receiving Cal Grants as an undergraduate student.

5. Do you offer scholarships to graduate students?
Scholarships are not offered through CBU; however you can research scholarship options for graduate nursing students. You may also speak with a financial aid counselor for other options.

6. How many units do I have to take to get financial aid?
Federal loans are offered to graduate students who are enrolled in a minimum of five (5) units (part time status); enrollment in nine (9) units is considered full-time. Your financial aid award amount is in part based on the number of units you are enrolled in.

7. Can I speak with someone in the Financial Aid Office?
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.

8. When will I know how much financial aid I can receive?
You will receive an offer of financial aid once you register for classes and CBU receives an electronic copy of your FAFSA.

9. Are student loans income or credit based?
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.

 

International

1. My bachelor's degree is from a foreign university. Do I have to get it evaluated?   
No. You are not required to have transcripts evaluated prior to submission. Please note that we only accept evaluated transcripts from only a few companies (i.e. IERF, WES).

2. Which international credential evaluation service do you recommend?
International Education Research Foundation, Inc (IERF)
P.O. Box 3665, Culver City, CA 90231-3655
Office: 310- 258-9451; Fax: 310-342-7086

3. 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?
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 accepted into the program.

4. Where can I find more information about applying to CBU as an international student?
Please visit our website at www.calbaptist.edu/international.