Does it really matter where you complete your Nursing prerequisites as a Pre-Nursing major?

Hi everyone,

I’m a graduating senior applying to be in the Pre-Nursing major/track. I know for sure I want to attend a CSU campus.

After meeting all the requirements, I’ll be applying to the nursing program at my attending school as well as other schools’ nursing programs (as a transfer student). So, does it really matter which CSU I go to for Pre-Nursing? Will going to a certain CSU give me priority or advantage compared to transfers from others institutions? In addition, what’s an important factor I should consider when deciding which schools to go to for Pre-Nursing? Other advice on pre-nursing and nursing, in general, are also very much appreciated.

Thank you all.

I am no expert on the Pre-Nursing but I will give you some information.

For each CSU campus, the Nursing school is impacted so there are more qualified applicants than spots available. They also handle priority for current students differently. You would have to research each campus and see if you are able to find the information.

Here is what CSULB states:

There is no priority given to CSULB Pre-Nursing majors when applying to the School of Nursing - all applications are scored and ranked amongst the entire applicant pool (made up of current undergraduate pre-nursing students, undergraduate transfers from other schools, and second-degree BSN applicants).

Also some general information and tips on when you apply to the Nursing schools:

You may apply with prerequisite courses in-progress, however, we advise all applicants to apply when the prerequisite courses are completed with final grades posted to be competitive. Any prerequisite course in-progress will be counted as a “C” grade for scoring and ranking purposes.

  • For Fall semester admission, final grades should post from the prior Fall term. Ex: Fall 2021 for application to Fall 2022. Courses planned or in-progress during Winter 2021, Spring 2022, or Summer 2022 will be counted as a “C” grade for scoring and ranking purposes.

Students may take the prerequisites at any college or university if the courses taken are equivalent in units and content (based on the course description/summary and course syllabus) to the specific CSU prerequisite courses listed. It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine course equivalency. Do not assume that the courses you took will be equivalent to all CSU courses. Also, do not assume a course is equivalent even if it is accepted by another nursing program. In addition to using [Assist]. ( a resource, applicants are advised to review coursework with a counselor or advisor from their home community college/University/transfer institution to determine course equivalency. The School of Nursing will not review requests to determine course equivalency.

Which CSU’s did you apply? Did you apply to any Direct admit programs? You can Google Nursing school FAQ’s for each campus which could help you find the information. My suggestion would also look into out of state Nursing schools just as a backup since the CA schools are extremely competitive.

There are various paths to become a nurse and in my next post I will list the various ways.

There are several ways to become a registered nurse with a BSN these days.

The easiest and most direct way is to major in nursing as an undergrad the first time around. You’d need to go to a university that offers a BSN (bachelor’s of science in nursing) program. These usually take four years, and sometimes take five. There are two flavors of these BSN programs. A small number of schools offer direct admission as a freshman (e.g., you’re admitted to the school of nursing when you apply to the college, and you are guaranteed to be a nursing major as long as you keep your grades up). But most make you apply to the nursing school in your sophomore year to start your junior year. In those, you complete pre-nursing prerequisites in your first two years and then start nursing classes in your third year.

The second way is to complete a regular bachelor’s degree (in anything, although a science major makes this easier), then go back to school and get an accelerated second BSN. ABSN programs usually take 14-18 months after your first bachelor’s degree, which adds time and expense to getting your BSN. This route is usually chosen by people who didn’t realize they wanted to be a nurse until after they were already in college, but I’ve known a couple of college students who chose to go this route because they wanted to go to a liberal arts college to undergrad and yet still wanted to be a nurse. If you do this you have to plan your prerequisites carefully, since colleges without nursing programs tend not to have classes like anatomy and physiology.

The third way is to complete a regular bachelor’s degree (in anything, although again, a science major makes this easier) and then go into an entry-to-practice MSN program. Entry-to-practice programs are 3-year programs in which you get your RN in the first year and then your MSN in the last two years, which allows you to practice as a nurse practitioner. This is only a good idea if you know you want to be a nurse practitioner (an NP is a nurse who gives primary care).

Really, if you know you want to be a nurse now, the best way is to go to a college/university that has a nursing undergrad major.

One additional option is to get an Associates degree in nursing from a Community College that has an approved RN program. Those programs are usually competitive for entry, unlike most other community college programs. Often, the community college has a waiting list for nursing and will make you take a number of science classes first to prove that you are capable of handling it, before you are accepted as a nursing major. Your job opportunities will not be as wide as if you have a BSN, but you should still have no problem getting hired. Many of those grads then go onto later get a BSN, while taking classes part-time. Many health care employers will subsidize those classes.