Cal State San Marcos or National University ABSN?


I've been accepted at Cal State San Marcos ABSN and National University ABSN and I need some help deciding where to go. Both have very similar NCLEX pass rates but National has some very negative reviews. Cal State does not. Can anyone speak to the quality of their respective educations? Any experiences in general?


Has 2 years experience.

Go CSSM way better! I used to work where they do their psych rotation and the professors are amazing!


10 Posts

Can you elaborate? Why do you say CSUSM is "way better"? Are you familiar with National?

Has 2 years experience.

I have worked with a few nurses that graduated NU and I have just heard that the clinicals are all over the place, and it can be scattered at times. I have personally worked with the mental health nursing professors of CSUSM in the clinical rotation and spoken at length with multiple cohorts at CSUSM and everything I've seen and learned puts them as one of the top nursing programs. This is just my opinion from my experience.


10 Posts

Thanks for your input!

Has 1 years experience.

Hi browrs2! I am an alumni of CSUSM's ABSN program (Temecula campus), and I would recommend it. The professors overall are really good, although there are a few who my classmates and I thought were not so great (mainly, they were late for class, disorganized with course content, etc). The program overall was not too bad. There is a lot of busy work, and there is a paper required for every class (the profs explained that it had something to do with university requirements). Clinicals-wise, we were given the disclaimer that we could be placed anywhere from Riverside County to San Diego County. Considering that my cohort's classes were based in Temecula, I moved there while I was in the program. The furthest clinical site for me was in La Jolla. Some of my classmates who lived in SD/Chula Vista did have a tough semester when their clinical site was in Hemet. One con is the organization on the administrative part. For example, for some semesters, we wouldn't find out our clinical sites until the week before the semester started or a week into the semester. That made it tough for some of my classmates who have kids, a job, or other things in their life. Also, sometimes, the administrative people would take weeks to reply to emails...or not reply at all. :no:

I can't really speak about how the program at National University is, since I didn't go there and I don't know anyone who goes there. I did have a professor who also taught clinicals at both CSUSM and National University. She told my clinical group that from her experience CSUSM students are different from National Univ students. We asked "how?," and she said that it's because we're more mature and the quality of our care plans/work is better. I don't know if she said that to her other clinical groups or how true that is. I do know that my cohort had a lot of smart, overachieving people.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to send me a DM (direct message). Good luck with your decision! :)


10 Posts

Thanks so much Nicole!


4 Posts


Just out curiosity can you let me know what were your GPA. I plan on applying to NU and CSUSM next year. Any important information you ladies believed helped you get accepted will be greatly appreciated!



10 Posts

My overall GPA was abysmal, something like 2.8 but my prerequisite GPA was something like a 3.8. I took a stats course online at NU because they told me it'll help my chances. I also cranked on the TEAS. I don't remember the exact score but I was in the 99th percentile. I also had about 2.5 years of experience working w patients in a hospital as a research asst. I honestly don't remember if they took my experience into consideration or not.

NU wait listed me first. CSUSM I got into outright.

I I applied to them bc they have low entrance requirements. I have a huge list all the schools with low GPA requirements in warm weather states. Lemme know if you're interested.


1 Post

I'm so glad to find this thread! These are the two main programs that I am considering. I was wondering what people's experience has been afterward. Has it been difficult to find a job or did you have quick success? Were you able to stay in San Diego? Did you feel prepared after the program? I've read and heard mixed things so far. I'd really appreciate your feedback. Thank you!

browrs do you mind messaging me with the list of "schools with low GPA requirements in warm weather states"?


38,333 Posts

9 hours ago, Sarwielittlebiigsis said:

browrs do you mind messaging me with the list of "schools with low GPA requirements in warm weather states"?

Browrs has not been on this site since Jun 5 2017. Probably won’t see your request.