Santa Monica College Nursing Program Review

Santa Monica College (SMC) opened in 1929 and is now a bustling college with over 30,000 students enrolled each semester. Considered one of the best community colleges in the nation, the school is a leader in transferring students to four-year universities. Santa Monica College attracts students from all over the world to study and participate in its wide range of cultural and recreational offerings.

Nursing Programs

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

Graduates of the nursing program receive an Associate in Arts – Nursing Degree and may sit for the state licensing exam for Registered Nurses (RNs). Students are encouraged to pursue their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree by then transferring to a four-year college.

To apply to the ADN program, students must meet the perquisites of the program. That includes passing the admission assessment exam, taking English with a grade of C or better, and Physiology, Microbiology, and Anatomy with an average of 2.5 or better and no grade lower than a C in anyone. Students must also have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher in all classes taken.

About 40 students are accepted into the nursing program each spring and fall semester. If on the waitlist for the program, students are encouraged to complete their general education required courses, complete their Pharmacology courses, consider taking BSN courses in conjunction with California State University, Dominguez Hills, and consider using web-based programs, such as Plato (see below), to enhance their skills.

Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) and transfer students may be considered for advanced placement, based on nursing courses already taken. They must meet with a nursing counselor to determine if they are eligible. They must also take the Nursing Transition course, have a current LVN license, and meet all the requirements of the ADN program. There are limited advanced placement spaces available in the nursing program.

The ADN program at SMC is accredited by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN), and the NLN Accrediting Commission.

ADN to BSN/Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Santa Monica College has entered into an agreement with California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), to allow SMC students who have been waitlisted for the ADN program to get a start on their BSN/MSN degree. Students may enroll concurrently in CSUDH’s BSN/MSN program.

To do this, students must not be on academic probation, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in their science classes and an overall GPA of 3.0, have good scores on their admissions exams, and have a C or higher grade in English, Philosophy, Math, and Speech. In addition, those students who are currently in the ADN program must be passing their nursing courses with a grade of B or better, and not have any academic statements of concern or correction.

Plato Orientation

SMC has a unique program available to students on the ADN waitlist. Plato Orientation is an online program designed to help students improve their skills in Science, Math, English, and Reading. Since the program is web-based, it can be used anywhere students have access to a computer with internet access and a web browser. Students can set up an individual study program, free of charge.


Santa Monica College,

1900 Pico Boulevard,

Santa Monica, CA 90405