California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) School of Nursing

Boasting consistently high NCLEX pass rates, California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) School of Nursing offers a variety of professional Nursing degrees including the traditional BSN, the RN to BSN online program, the Accelerated BSN, the LVN to BSN, and several Advanced Practice Nursing concentrations in the MSN graduate programs. Schools Scholarships Student Support

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BSN   MSN   RN-to-MSN   RN-to-BSN   LPN-to-BSN   CNS   NP   Accelerated BSN  

California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) is a public institution founded in 1989. The School of Nursing is a subset of the College of Education, Health and Human Services.

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program began in 2006 with the help of a 2.5 million dollar donation from Palomar Health, off-setting the cost of the facility.

CSUSM expanded the Nursing degree programs during the Fall of 2007 in partnership with Extended Learning, which administers degree programs on a self-supported basis. The School of Nursing was then able to add the RN to BSN program that same year, an Accelerated BSN (ABSN) program in 2008, and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program in 2009.

CSUSM School of Nursing opened a satellite program in Temecula in 2008 and offers the RN to BSN, ABSN, and MSN programs at that site.


Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

This is a pre-licensure program that leads to a BSN.  At the completion of the program, students earn their BSN degree and are eligible for licensure as a Registered Nurse in California and certification as a Public Health Nurse.

Licensed Vocational Nurse to BSN

The LVN to BSN Program is designed for Nurses who have a valid California LVN license and meet the minimum eligibility requirements.  This program is also available to students who have already completed a Bachelors degree in a discipline other than Nursing. 

Requirements LVN to BSN (not all inclusive)

  • California LVN License
  • Vocational Nursing completed at a Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians approved program or a program approved by a State Board for vocational nursing licensure other than California or equivalent coursework completed through military training
  • Completion of LVN coursework at a regionally-accredited institution (WASC or other regional affiliates)
  • Proof of active California LVN license
  • Completion of the Pre-Nursing Core (or equivalent) with overall 2.75 GPA 
  • Minimum overall college/university 2.0 GPA
  • IV certification
  • Pass the LVN Nursing Skills Assessment

RN to BSN (online)

The program allows students to earn pre-nursing core credits concurrently with nursing courses.  Students can complete the coursework in as few as 14 months with a total of 38 credit hours.  Written communication and Mathematical Statistics must be taken within the first year of the program. Students who have not completed pre-nursing core courses will be admitted to the Pre-Nursing Program. Once completion of all of the pre-nursing core courses occurs then the student will be admitted to the RN to BSN program.

Admission Requirements (not all inclusive)

  • Minimum 2.75 GPA in Pre-Nursing Core Courses
  • Minimum grade of "C" or higher in each coursework
  • Minimum 2.00 GPA in all transferable units attempted
  • Minimum grade of "C" or higher in these courses
  • High school transcript for applicants with less than 60 transferable units
  • Applicants with HS GPA less than 3.0 must submit SAT or ACT scores
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  • Active/unencumbered RN license
  • Reside in an approved state

Accelerated BSN

This is a 24-month program designed for students who currently hold a degree in a discipline other than Nursing and who have not completed any LVN or RN coursework. Students will complete approximately 78-semester units of study in both didactic and clinical coursework.

Cohorts are planned for Fall, Spring, and Summer terms. The Fall program will accept one cohort in Temecula, the Spring program will accept one cohort in San Marcos, and the Summer program will admit one cohort in Temecula.

Graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX exam for RNs and then be eligible for RN licensure in his or her state.

TEAS Exam Required

Entry to the Traditional BSN and Accelerated BSN programs requires the newest version of TEAS. TEAS version V is no longer offered. All Traditional BSN and Accelerated BSN applicants must receive a minimum composite score of 71% in order to be considered for entry.

CPR Required

CPR certification courses (American Heart Association Basic Life Support for Healthcare providers including AED training) are offered once a month thru the School of Nursing. Classes are offered on Saturday mornings.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The MSN program is designed to be completed on a part-time basis.


  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
  • Post-Masters Certificates
  • Transitions of Care Management
  • CNS
  • FNP

MSN Requirements (not all inclusive)

  • Official transcripts from colleges/universities attended
  • BSN from CCNE or NLN accredited programs
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA for the last 60 semester hours of undergraduate coursework
  • Satisfactory completion (grade "C" or higher) of physical assessment course, inferential statistics course, nursing research course, an undergrad or grad level bioethics course
  • California Registered Nurse license
  • Current resume with 1-year recent nursing experience
  • Two letters of reference
  • Essay outlining professional/educational goals

Other Requirements for All Nursing Programs

  • Background Checks/ Prior Convictions - prior misdemeanor or felony must be expunged from the record
  • Drug Testing

Accreditation and Approval

The BSN and MSN programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

CSUSM is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges.

The School of Nursing's Traditional BSN and Accelerated BSN programs are approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.


US News & World Report (2019)

  • #85 (tie) in Regional Universities West
  • #31 in Top Public Schools

NICHE (2019)

  • Most Diverse Colleges in America #269 of 1,592
  • Top Public Universities in America #278 of 672
  • Best College Campuses in America #413 of 1,408
  • Most Liberal Colleges in America #514 of 687
  • Best College Locations in America #693 of 1,553
  • Best Value Colleges in America #711 of 1,590
  • Best Colleges in America #716 of 1,647
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in America #765 of 1,591
  • Top Public Universities in California #19 of 46
  • Best College Campuses in California #31 of 82
  • Most Diverse Colleges in California #49 of 109
  • Most Liberal Colleges in California #55 of 61
  • Best Value Colleges in California #56 of 104
  • Best Colleges in California #59 of 116
  • Colleges with the Best Academics in California #60 of 114
  • Best College Locations in California #62 of 100
  • Best Value Colleges in San Diego Area #5 of 12
  • Best Colleges in San Diego Area #6 of 12

MONEY Magazine ranked CSUSM #298 Best Colleges For Your Money (2018-2019). ranked CSUSM's nursing program at #13 in the state for 2018.

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