Azusa Pacific University Nursing School Review

Azusa Pacific University (APU) is a Christian university that is located in California. The history of the school dates back to 1899 when it was mounted as the first Bible College in the West Coast. Today, it still holds steadfast to its religious views, but has also adapted its curriculum to include various courses to meet the demand from students within and outside of the United States of America. The school prides itself with its 53 undergraduate majors, 37 master’s degrees, 21 credentials, 7 doctoral and 5 certificate programs. The university is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

 Azusa Pacific University’s School of Nursing offers a list of undergraduate and graduate programs that enable students to better embrace the changing responsibilities in the health care sector. The school of nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the California Board of Registered Nursing. The programs at the school include:

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)- Generic Option

This is an 8-semester course that combines arts, science and nursing subjects into the curriculum. During the course students have access to virtual patients and simulators to enrich the learning experience. Biblical studies are also included and students are encouraged to analyze how their spiritual and academic life can act in unison to fulfill their roles as nurses. It is designed for high school students and after graduation they are eligible for public health certification.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)- Generic Option Two-Plus-Two (High Desert)

This is a six consecutive semester course that is open to students that have completed all the necessary pre-requisites prior to sending in their applications to the school of nursing.

Traditional RN to BSN: LVN to BSN and LVN to RN Programs

Qualified licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) can either choose the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program or the registered nurse program. Each student is evaluated on an individual basis to identify core skills and experience in the nursing sector. LVNs that have an active unencumbered license can be waived from doing certain subjects. For the LVN to BSN program, LVNs that currently have a license can be waived for particular course. However, those that choose the LVN to RN program are admitted as terminal non-degree students. 

Accelerated Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Students are taught the essence of combining theory with practice in this accelerated course.  After completion, they are able to undertake more responsibilities in health care and understand the complexities of human health and well-being.

Registered Nurse to Nursing, B.S. (Online)

Registered nurses that want to be engaged in advanced studies while working can choose this course for added flexibility. They will be trained to undertake more responsibilities and to have deeper insight for patient care. The learning community aims to capitalize on the strength of each student thus enriching the course.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Students are able to choose the specializations they believe are best for them. After completion, they can undertake roles as clinical nurse specialists, family nurse practitioners, school nurses, adult nurse practitioners, etc. The main areas of specialty are:

a)     Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS):  The school of nursing offers two possibilities to students that which to specialize in this area. They can choose between the Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist and the Parent-Child Clinical Nurse Specialist. Each of the main specialty offer other sub-specialty that allows students to be trained in areas they believe will be best for them.

b)    Entry-level Masters (ELM) program: Students that have completed advanced studies in other areas and have received their baccalaureate or any other type of higher degree in a non-related course are encouraged to apply to this program. It is an accelerated program that exposes students to basic nursing studies. After successful completion they can sit the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

c)     MSN with NP Specialties: It is necessary to fully understand and comply with the MSN coursework before enrolling in any NP specialty program. The options that are available are:

  • Adult NP
  • Family NP
  • Pediatric NP
  • Psychiatric Mental Health NP

Combined Programs for Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

d)     Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP) Program: This program gives nurses the opportunity to be prepared in two advanced courses that shape their skills and effectiveness in the world of nursing.

e)     Master of Science in Nursing with Parent-Child Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) program: Students are trained in this program to work with children and their families. They will earn a master’s degree and gain specialization as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP). In addition to this, they will also gain a Parent-Child Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Certificate. This is possible after they have successfully taken and passed the exams for certification by the state of California and for national certification.

f)       Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with School Nurse Services Credential (SNCSC) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): This is a combined course that is aimed at registered nurses. To be admitted into the program, qualified registered nurses must have an unencumbered license and should have completed their bachelor’s degree. They are trained to work with different age groups and are exposed to advanced skills and theory that enable them to serve patients. At the end of the course, they qualify to sit the national exam for licensure and are awarded the Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate. The course is approved by the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission. In addition to these, it is also accredited by the WASC and CCNE.

g)    Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with School Nurse Services Credential (SNSC) and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP): Various courses are combined to train and equip students with the knowledge they need to embrace work at schools or any other health care setting that deals with children. They must be registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree and have an unencumbered license to apply.

Post-Bachelors Credentials

School Nurse Services Certificate (SNSC)

This is a non-degree post-bachelor’s specialty program that is open to registered nurses. The program is built on a combination of courses required for the School Nurse Services Credential (SNSC) along with other courses administered by the university.

Post-Master Certificates

The post-masters specialty is open to nurses that already have a MSN from APU or any other accredited university. Those that enroll in the course can get choose any of these specialties:

a)     Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Post-Master’s Certificate: This is the perfect course for the working profession. Classes can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis depending on the student’s availability. After successful completion, students can take the exam administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. If they pass, then they will be eligible for California advanced practice certification. The course is aimed at nurses with a masters degree in nursing and prepares them to undertake roles in acute, primary and long-term care.

b)    Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP) Post-Master’s Certificate: This course is also designed for students with a masters degree in nursing. It is a non-degree course credit option.

c)     Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Post-Master’s Certificate: Nurses that have a master’s degree in nursing can take this non-degree credit course. After successful completion they can take the national certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner. During the course students are taught the essentials about primary health care skills. They will also gain clinical health care experience by working with a diverse background of people from different social ranks.

d)    Nursing Administration Post-Master’s Certificate: Students that do not want to be directly involved with the health of patients will find this course interesting. It prepares them for administrative roles that enable them to guarantee effective organizational development and also hone their managerial skills in the health care sector.

e)     Nursing Education Post-Master’s Certificate: Nurses with a masters of science in nursing are welcome to apply to this course. Their knowledge and experience will be enriched with further courses that enable them to be effective educators in a clinical or academic setting.

f)      Parent-Child Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Certificate: Registered nurses with a master’s degree can build on their knowledge to undertake roles involved in pediatrics or obstetrics. It is a non-degree course credit option.

g)    Parish Nursing (PN) Certificate: Nurses interested in undertaking spiritual aspects of patient care will find this course fulfilling. After successful completion they will be able to work in churches or any other religiously based organization.

h)    Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) Certificate: Nurses that have a passion working with children will gain the necessary skills to undertake roles in primary health care settings. It is a non-degree course credit option open to registered nurses that have a master’s degree in nursing.

i)       Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Certificate: This course will prepare students to effectively work with patients that have severe mental challenges. They will be able to work if challenging and changing work environments with patients that need special care to handle their mental illness. They will also be able to determine biopsychosocial health care needs for these patients.

Doctoral Degrees

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Students that want to perform at very high levels and with greater degree of responsibility in the world of nursing will find this course very useful. The content is built and channeled towards organizational analysis, evidence-based practice and scientific findings. Those that complete their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) will only need to take 13 more courses to be awarded their doctorate.

Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD)

During this course students will be exposed to various concepts and information that adequately prepare them to work with family health along with international and community health. When they successfully complete the course, they will be recognized as educators, nurse scholars and researchers. They will also be able to use the knowledge obtained throughout the program to improve health conditions across various settings.

Secondary Specialties

Students interested in earning a secondary specialty can choose between the Nursing Administration Specialty or Nursing Education Specialty to achieve their goal. They must be doing their Master of Science in Nursing along with a primary specialty to be considered for admission.

Nursing Administration Specialty- This program hones the administrative side of the nursing professional. It is preferred by those that are keen on developing skills related to business management and organizational development.

Nursing Education Specialty- This program prepares students that wish to undertake teaching roles in the academic or health care setting.

Continuing Education

The courses offered by the Continuing Education Department for the School of Nursing are available to both alumni and nurses. The aim of the courses is to ensure that students are adequately prepared to deal with changing information and roles in the health care sector. The two main areas that are currently being offered include:

a)     School Nurse Audiometry: This course is approved by the hearing conservation specialist of the State Department of Health Services. It is an intensive online course with only one clinical day in July or June. 

b)     RN Refresher: Nurses that have not been active in entry level positions due to being away from the workforce can consider this course. During the program, they will have the opportunity to enhance their own knowledge, gain and upgrades skills to better fulfill their roles as health care professionals. They must have an unencumbered Californian license, CPR card and meet the additional requirements of the program to gain entry.

Azusa Pacific University
901 E. Alosta Ave.
P.O Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000

[wpgmza id=”163″]