Pacific Lutheran University Nursing School Review

Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) is a private university based in Tacoma, Washington. Over 3,000 students are enrolled in the university’s bachelor’s through master’s degree and certificate programs.In 1890, Pacific Lutheran University was founded and has since maintained its affiliation with the Lutheran Church demonstrated by its association with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

A key feature of student life at Pacific Lutheran University is international experience. The majority of faculty members at Pacific Lutheran University have global experience and nearly half of all students studying at Pacific Lutheran University study or participate in a form of international education abroad. Students at Pacific Lutheran University can participate in sports teams, performing arts and memorial lecture programs in addition to study abroad. The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Nursing Programs

Nursing programs at Pacific Lutheran University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Undergraduate nursing programs strive to educate nurses who serve as generalists and are able to work in a variety of settings. The BSN program trains nurses to serve as holistic care providers attending to the mental and spiritual needs of their patients in addition to their physical needs. The BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) and MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) programs are offered through the School of Nursing at Pacific Lutheran University. In addition the BSN and MSN programs, continuing education is also available for nurses. The nursing education programs at Pacific Lutheran University cater to nurses at all stages of their career.

Pacific Lutheran University Undergraduate Nursing Programs:

Basic BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)

The School of Nursing’s BSN program accepts freshman and transfer students. In the first year of the BSN program, freshman students will complete general education and prerequisites. Upon completion of prerequisites, students apply to the nursing program. Admission requirements to the nursing program include a minimum overall GPA of 2.5 and a grade of “C” or better in each prerequisite course. Admission to the nursing program is competitive and the average GPA of admitted students is 3.5 or higher. Exceptionally qualified high school seniors may apply to and receive conditional admission to the nursing program while still in high school. Students seeking to transfer into the BSN program should speak directly with an admission advisor regarding their individual educational background. The BSN program can be completed in 3 years after general education requirements are completed. Upon completion of the program, students earn a BSN and are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN, National Council for Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (RNs). Graduates of the BSN program are also prepared for graduate study in nursing.

LPN to BSN (Licensed Practical Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing)

LPNs can receive academic credit towards the BSN degree based on their experience and apply it to the LPN to BSN program. The LPN to BSN educates nurses in critical thinking and cultural competency and prepares LPNs for the NCLEX-RN. The LPN to BSN nursing program can be completed in 5 semesters (approximately 2.5 years) after general education requirements are completed. Admission criteria for the LPN to BSN program are the same for the Basic BSN program.

Pacific Lutheran University Graduate Nursing Programs:

The Traditional Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The MSN degree offers two specializations;
– MSN COM (Care and Outcomes Manager)
– MSN FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner)

The MSN COM expands into Advanced Generalist, Clinical Nurse Educator or Leader, and Nurse Administrator roles. In the MSN FNP and MSN COM-Clinical Nurse Educator programs, students may choose to take a national certification exam to become a certified specialist in their nursing area. The MSN COM requires 15 months to complete and MSN FNP program can be completed in 24 months.

The Entry-Level Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The Entry-Level MSN prepares students that have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing and no previous nursing education or experience to earn a BSN in nursing. The program can be completed in 27 months of study and includes preparation for the NCLEX-RN exam. Students in the Entry-Level MSN program complete the MSN-COM Advanced Generalist track of the MSN program. Students may apply for other specializations in the MSN program if space allows. Admission to the Entry-Level MSN program is selective. Upon completion of the program, students earn an MSN degree, but not a BSN.


RNs with a bachelors degree in a field other than nursing are eligible to apply for the RN-B MSN program. Students in the RN-B program have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing and nursing licensure. Rather than pursue a BSN, students pursue an MSN in the COM-Advanced Generalists specialization. The RN-B MSN program is designed to offer classes on evenings and weekends, with no distance learning courses offered at this time. Upon completion of the 15 month RN-B MSN program, students receive an MSN (no BSN is awarded).

Dual Degree MSN/MBA (Master of Science in Nursing/Master in Business Administration)

The Dual Degree MSN/MBA seeks to train highly qualified nurses who are prepared to administrate healthcare programs in a variety of setting. Combining clinical nursing practice and business skills of the MBA, nurses are also required to put their experience to use in a mandatory international practicum which is part of the MSN/MBA program. The Dual Degree MSN/MBA program can be completed in 3 years of part-time study. The program is 60 academic credits. Upon completion of the program, nurses receive MSN and MBA degrees.

Continuing Education at Pacific Lutheran University School of Nursing

The School of Nursing offers a variety of continuing education programs which prepare nurses for increased roles in nursing and additional knowledge in patient management and care. Short and long term courses and seminars are all part of the continuing education in nursing program. Past courses have included School Nursing, to receive knowledge and information to become a certified practicing nurse in the public school system and Parish Nursing, to provide health care in a faith-based setting. Course offerings in continuing nursing education are updated on a regular basis.

Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue S.
Tacoma, WA 98447