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 at a graduate level.*

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

A: 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 only.

Q: When will I become a nurse?

A: The EL MSN program combines the education necessary to become a licensed Registered Nurse, educationally prepared at a graduate level. Upon completion of the program, students will obtain both their RN liscence and a Master of Science in Nursing degree.*

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 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 on the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website.

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

A: Please see our Admissions Requirements page for a comprehensive list of requirements. 

Q: Do you offer the program in a part-time format? What about online?

A: No. The EL MSN is a full-time, graduate program that is offered on the main campus of CBU. 

Q: Is the EL MSN program accelerated?

A: Yes. Students complete all pre-licensure nursing coursework in an accelerated format in preparation for a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. 

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 a holistic review, including various criteria including cumulative GPA, science GPA, interview, 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. We do not provide a BSN opt-out.

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 95 units.*


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 2018 applicants: Monday, December 1, 2017 is the application deadline; however we recommend you submit your application materials by August 25th. 

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. 

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 College 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: Do I need to re-apply to the EL MSN program for each application cycle?

A: Not necessarily. Applications are good for 2 years. If you are concerned about your application status, check with the College of Nursing Admissions team.

*Curriculum and program design subject to change