California State University, Los Angeles Nursing School Review

California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA, CSLA, or Cal State LA) joined the California State College (CSC) System, currently known as the California State University (CSU) system, in 1968. This was the same year it was renamed to reflect its present name after undergoing two name changes in previous years. The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and the Commission for Teacher Credentialing Committee on Accreditation.

There are currently 59 undergraduate programs and 51 graduate programs being offered at Cal State LA. Students that want to complete professional development courses or certificate programs can do so at the Division of Extended Education at CSULA. Those interested in nursing can enroll in any of the following programs provided they meet the admission criteria.

Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN)

Students interested in obtaining their BSN will be able to choose from two options at the school.  Both courses are accredited by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) and by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The two options are:

a)     Basic Pre-Licensure BSN Program: Students must have the required GPA and SAT score to be admitted into this program. Applications are accepted from freshmen, transfer and continuing education students. Those that are accepted into the program are placed in the pre-nursing major program. They must meet all supplementary eligibility requirements to continue in the course.

b)     RN BSN Transfer Program: This program is only open to any registered nurse (RN) that has a current unencumbered California R.N license. They must also have an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science in Nursing from an accredited institution. A NLNAC accredited diploma is also accepted.  Only applications with CA RN license attached and the minimum GPA requirement are considered for admission.

ADN to BSN Program

This program is for those with an Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) who want to gain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. This program is currently under review.

Master of Science Degree in Nursing (MSN)

Graduate courses focus on advanced areas that prepare students to undertake more demanding roles in the health care sector. Students that are interested in completing their MSN will be able to choose three entry routes. They must submit their applications to CSCLA and also to the MSN program to be considered for admission. Applications are accepted only once yearly. The three entry routes to the MSN program are: traditional masters program, Entry Level Masters in Nursing program (ELMN) and Blended Masters Program.

a)     Accelerated Masters Program: Only students that have a BSN from an NLN or CCNE accredited program are considered eligible applicants to enter the program. They must also have a current RN license that is unencumbered and that allows them to freely practice in California. All applicants must have a cleared criminal background check and meet a list of other admission requirements to enter the Accelerated MSN program.

b)    Blended Nurses Program: Students are exposed to courses from the BSN and MSN program in this course. At the end of the program they are awarded a BSN and also a MSN. Students that successfully complete the undergraduate program will be able to select options in the MSN program. Two tracks are currently being offered for entry into the Blended Masters Program.

1)Track I: Blended Master’s Program for RN’s with a Non-nursing Baccalaureate: This course is open to students that have a non-nursing baccalaureate from an accredited institution. Students that have an A.A. or A.S. degree in nursing from an accredited college or an NLN-accredited diploma program are also welcome to apply. Once accepted, only those that complete at least one year of employment as a registered nurse and maintain the required GPA are allowed to continue in the program.

2) Track II: Blended Masters Program for RNs without a Baccalaureate: Registered nurses with an A.A. or A.S. degree in nursing from an accredited college or an NLN-accredited diploma program can apply to this program. They must also have the minimum GPA and comply with all other admission requirements to gain entry into the course.

c)     Entry Level Masters in Nursing (ELMN) Program for Non-RNs with a Baccalaureate (or Higher) Degree: This program is open to applicants with a baccalaureate (or higher) degree in another field but do not have the qualifications as registered nurses (RNs). Once they have completed the required number of units and passed the NCLEX examination for RN licensure they will be classified as graduate students. Prior to meeting these requirements they are enrolled as conditionally classified.

Graduate Programs

 Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program (ACNP)

Theoretical content and clinical practice are the core focus areas in this program. Students are prepared to embrace roles related to acute care in clinics, intensive/critical care settings, emergency departments, etc. The school adopts a holistic approach to patient care and all students are taught the essence of this concept to better care for patients. The content of the program adequately prepares students to take the national acute care nurse practitioner examination.

Nursing Administration Program

Students that want to undertake advanced nursing practice roles in hospitals and community will be fully prepared with this course. Throughout the program they acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to be effective problem solvers and leaders. Upon graduating they can undertake roles related to problem solving, performance appraisal, policy development and numerous non-traditional nursing fields.

Nursing Education Program  

This course is based on a theoretical component and practical experience. It is a 45-unit option that prepares students to assume nursing education roles in areas such as course and student evaluation, course planning, clinical and classroom teaching among others. Upon graduation they are able to work in client programs, collegiate and various other health care settings. Students learn how to apply the concepts of educational philosophies and theories in a practical setting such as a classroom or clinic.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Program

This is a 75-unit courses that prepares students to promote health, prevent diseases and manage diseases- whether common or chronic- in a diverse population. The school hopes that those that graduate from its program will bring their care and knowledge to the underrepresented and thus increase the number of nurses working with the minority. The curriculum of the program is built on an international and family health perspective so that students are adequately prepared to care for families, individuals and communities. They are trained to provide their services through consultation, collaboration, advanced nursing care and any other area that requires in-depth knowledge as a FNP.

Adult Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

This is a full time course that covers 72-units in seven semesters. The core graduate courses include: Role Development of the Advanced Practice Nurse, Research Utilization, Nursing Research Methods, Theoretical Basis of Nursing Research and Practice and Decision Making Nursing & Health Care Policy. Other areas in the program include:  Advanced Practice Core which has 23 units; the Adult Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner which has 35 units and the Comprehensive Exams, Thesis or Project which has 0-5 units.

 Psychiatric/Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist

This is a 58-unit option that builds on the concepts applied in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing as well as using nursing research and theories and hands-on experience with different types of psychiatric clients. The coursework passed to graduates enable them to receive Certification by the American Nurse Association and by the California Board of Registered Nursing.

Post-Master’s Certificate Programs

There are eight post-masters certificate programs at CSCLA. These programs are only offered to students that have a Master of Science degree in Nursing. Only students that have a current unrestricted California RN license are considered for admission. They must also meet the requirements outlined for background checks and physical assessment. After successful completion they are eligible to sit the National Certification Examination for licensure to work as nurse practitioners or clinical nurse specialists. The programs that are currently being offered include:

1)     Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: Adult Specialty Certificate: Only students that complete the required number of units with the specified GPA will receive the post-masters certificate. Applicants must also have one year clinical experience working with acute ill adults to be admitted to the program. Specialty nursing certification is also a requirement. Successful completion of the program provides the foundation to sit the National Professional Adult ACNP certification examination provided there are no pending restrictions.

2)     Adult Nurse Practitioner Specialty Certificate: Both theory and clinical practice are integral components of this course. As a result, students will be exposed to both seminar courses and clinical practice courses throughout the program.

3)     Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate Program: Applicants must have one year of clinical nursing experience to be considered for admission. Throughout the program they will be presented a list of practice core courses and other course options that enable them to sit the national examination certifications.

4)     Nurse Practitioner: Psychiatric/Mental Health Certificate Program: This program is comprised of common core courses, advance practice core courses and required option courses that must be completed to sit the State certification from the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) as both a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) and a nurse practitioner (NP). Successful completion also prepares students for the national examinations for licensing.

5)     Nursing Education Certificate Program: Students that want to take courses in nurse education will find this program rather fulfilling. After successful completion they are awarded a certificate provided they maintain the required GPA and complete the certificate courses.

6)     Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Specialty Certificate: This program is comprised of seminar courses and clinical courses that prepare students to sit the National Professional Pediatric Nurse Practitioner certification examination. They will also be able to apply for nurse practitioner certification from BRN.

Health Services Credential: School Nurse Services

Students that have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field are welcome to apply to this program provided they take the required electives. The course is also open to applicants that can demonstrate that they are/have been employed as a school nurse in California public schools. They must have at least two years full-time or the equivalent part-time employment on their records.  An evaluated clinical practicum with a credential school nurse is also obligatory for admission. Candidates must demonstrate adequate experience working with multicultural and multiethnic individuals.

 Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

This is a practice-oriented doctorate as opposed to research-oriented PhD. The course trains students for advanced roles in complex practice, faculty and leadership roles in nursing. It is offered through a Consortium of the Schools of Nursing at California State University, Fullerton, Long Beach and Los Angeles and is being offered for the first time in 2012. However, the program is still awaiting approval from the Chancellor’s Office and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

There are 36 units of required coursework and one elective of 3 units which are covered in 2 years. Only students with a Master’s degree will be admitted. Applicants must also have a national certification as an APRN for doctoral preparation as a clinician. The course is also open to those that have a Master’s Degree in Nursing with specialization in specific areas such as nursing education, nursing management, nursing leadership, nursing administration or community health nursing. Students can specialize in any of the following areas in the program.

  • Anesthesia
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Management/Administration/Leadership
  • Midwifery
  • Nurse Practitioner: Adult, Adult/Geriatric, Acute Care Adult, Acute Care Pediatric, Family, Pediatrics, Psych/Mental Health
  • Public Health Nursing

California State University-Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032

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