Need help for how to switch from bio to nursing!

I’m currently a freshman bio major attending UCSB, which does not have a nursing program. Because of AP classes I took in hs, I’m at sophomore standing with 78 units right now. I recently have been thinking of switching to nursing (goal is to eventually become a neonatal nurse), but am not sure how to go about it. I want to do nursing at a UC, but I looked up the admit rates for transfers and it’s incredibly low. I want to stay in California, and the only other option it seems are CSUs. This may sound superficial, but is it still considered “good” to major in nursing at a CSU?

I’m also not completely sure how to go about it and am wondering if anyone has advice. With the number of units I have right now, I can probably graduate with my bio major in 3 years instead of the typical 4, and then apply to an accelerated program to become a registered nurse. Or, (not completely sure about this?), I can switch to nursing ASAP (whenever that is, I’m not sure) assuming I can somehow get in somewhere, and go from there. Thanks for any advice!

  1. Friend of mine graduated from Cal Poly Slo with a bachelors in Psychology. She took an accelerated program at CSU Northridge and was out within a year or two. She was fortunate enough to find a job in California right off the bat at a nearby hospital and is now working at one of the best hospitals in the nation in SF.

So yes, CSU’s are great for Nursing, so don’t be discouraged. You’ll find it often on this site or nursing forums, it does NOT matter where you get your RN or BSN as long as you passed your NCLEX exam and licensed to practice.

You can definitely transfer at the end of your sophomore year. Make sure to apply broadly to nursing schools, out of state is definitely recommended due to the competitiveness of the programs in Cali. MAKE SURE YOU FINISH YOUR PREREQS! You’ll have to take the TEAS and so on to apply. Most prereq GPAs for Nursing Schools are 3.5+, top are usually 3.9-4.0.

I know SDSU allows you to transfer into their program, but it will take at least 3 years to finish their BSN program afterwards.

Yes UC’s are incredibly low in terms of admit rate. This is expected because they can offer so many spots to a large pool of applicants who are all competing for the same goal as you are.

It is always best to keep your options open. Apply for some transfer programs now, and use the second degree program as a backup plan. Because there is a shortage of nursing programs in California, it may be worth your while to also apply to a couple out of state colleges too.

The quality of a nursing program often has little to do with the overall prestige of a university. The employers know which colleges turn out good nurses - and the prestige of the college is not an issue.

A factor you may consider when choosing schools is their NCLEX (examination for the licensing of nurses) pass rate.

A majority (if not all) nursing programs have prerequisites, some examples are anatomy, physiology, microbiology, statistics, and psychology.

If financial aid is a factor in your decision, keep in mind that once you graduate with a bachelor’s degree, you will be ineligible for federal grants as they are for first time seeking bachelor students. There’s also a cap on the amount you can borrow for bachelor degrees (unless you have people willing to cosign loans).

Therefore, depending on your circumstances, the best option may be to transfer at the end of this year (perhaps to a community college to start on prerequisites).

I’d advise you to start making a list of possible schools to transfer to, and what their requirements are.

Something I recently learned about the NCLEX - some schools will only let their strongest students take it, in an attempt to artificially inflate their pass rate. I don’t know whether that’s an urban legend or not, but someone gave me the advice to ask the programs if ALL students took the exam or if there was a prerequisite (gpa? test scores?) in order to take it.

I believe some schools require a certain score on an exit exam to allow for graduation.

I can’t see how else a school could prevent someone from taking the NCLEX as the licensing entity is separate from the schools.

Nevertheless, this is another factor for the OP to consider when looking at programs.

The CSUs can sometimes be better for nursing than the UC programs. The UCs have programs that are very chemistry heavy while the CSUs focus more on the actual nursing classes. Additionally, the UCs have very low NCLEX pass rates whereas the CSUs have some of the best NCLEX pass rates in the state. If I were you then I would do the accelerated program because it will give your time to complete your bio degree and the time to think about if nursing is something you really want to do.

I had meant to post this here, but somehow it ended up on a different thread:

The nursing programs apparently have some control over which of their grads are allowed to take the licensing exam. There are pre-tests, and some nursing schools require graduates to take extra prep courses if the student does not do well in the pre-tests.

Many of the students who do not pass the exam on the first try will pass on the second try.

In an extreme case, it was reported that one university was accused of not granting a BSN to students who they did not think would do well on the exam, even though they received decent grades on their courses.