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School of Nursing


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program?

A: The purpose of the baccalaureate program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is to provide a curriculum that will broaden the theoretical knowledge base of the learner in preparation for an entry- level professional nursing practice and possibility of graduate nursing study. If you currently have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and are looking to transition into nursing, please consider the EL MSN program.

BSN Application Information

Q: When are the application periods to the School of Nursing?

A: We accept students to the BSN program for the Fall & Spring semesters. Application periods are as follows:

For the spring 2016 (January 2016) Program:

The online application will be available via in mid-April.

Application Filing Dates for Spring 2016 Program

Early application deadline: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ A completed file submitted by 8:59pm July 31, 2015. Well-qualified early applicants that have a completed file (NursingCAS requirements, program specific requirements & transcripts received and PAX scores) may be notified and scheduled for an interview prior to those completing applications after July 31, 2015.

Final Deadline: by 8:59pm August 20, 2015

For applicants with work in-progress during the summer 2015 semester: Updated transcripts must be received by NursingCAS by September 15, 2015.

Email invitations for the interview/ status of the application will be sent out on an on-going basis but no later than October 30, 2015.

For the Fall 2016 (September 2016) Program:

The online application will be available at on November 1st, 2015. Dates for the PAX exam will be in January of 2016. The Early Application Deadline will be January 27th at 8:59pm and the Final Application Deadline will be February 15th at 8:59pm. 

Q: How do I apply to the BSN program? 

A: Once accepted to the university as a pre-nursing student you may apply to the BSN program via our online application found at . Please follow the program specific instructions. To apply to the university as a pre-nursing student click here

Q: I applied for the fall 2015 program but I did not get in. Can I reapply?

A: Yes, applicants may apply to the BSN program if he/she has previously applied. The CBU SON recommends that all applicants have a back-up plan for a major and to consider the EL MSN program if not accepted to the BSN program after applying twice. However, there is no limit to the amount of times you may apply to the program.

Q: Can I reuse my application that I submitted through NursingCAS for the fall 2015 program?

A: Please contact NursingCAS Customer Service at 617-612-2880 or to see if you are eligible to reapply using your previous application.

Q: If NursingCAS verifies I can reapply using my previous application do I have to resubmit all of the documents again?

A: The only documents that will need to be updated are transcripts if you had work in progress when you previously applied. You will also need to fill out a new conduct clearance form from universities other than CBU if you were enrolled after submitting the prior application.

Q: How many students do you accept per year for the BSN program?

A: We accept 80 students in the fall and 80 students in the spring for a total of 160 per year. 

Q: Do I have to be accepted to the University before I apply for the nursing program?

A: Yes, applicants must first apply and be accepted to CBU as an undergraduate pre-nursing student. Upon acceptance to the university, students may either complete prerequisites and other degree requirements at CBU prior to applying to the BSN program or if all requirements are met, apply directly to the BSN program using the online application and program specific requirements.

Q: Am I eligible to apply for the spring 2015 BSN program?
A: You may apply if you meet the following requirements:

  • received acceptance to the university as a pre-nursing student;
  • completed prerequisites or will complete them by August 31, 2015;
  • have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 at the end of the Spring semester

Q: I have some questions about the application. What should I do?

A: Every application period we offer the BSN Applicant Workshop to assist students with the completion of the application process, review the timeline and discuss interview format. Please check the Important Dates page to see when these workshops will be held.

Step-by-step instructions for the application can be found here.

Q: What can I do to better my chances of getting in?

A: The BSN program is very competitive. The BSN admission committee ranks applicants first by academics and then considers non-academic admission criteria. The cumulative GPA average and the science GPA average (the 5 prerequisite sciences) are well above a 3.0 and the average PAX composite score is 127 for the applicants accepted to the program. Applicants with strong grades, a strong entrance exam and practical experience are more competitive.

Entrance Exam

Q: Which entrance exam is required?

A: We require that all students applying to the CBU School of Nursing take an entrance exam. The CBU SON uses the RN Pre-Entrance Exam (PAX) Third Edition administered by the National League for Nursing (NLN). The PAX test measures your verbal, mathematics and science ability. We no longer accept the TEAS exam only the PAX exam. You may not substitute a prior TEAS exam for the PAX exam.

Q: What is the minimum PAX score I need to be eligible to apply to the School of Nursing?

A: We do not require a minimum score in order to apply to the BSN program. Your score is compared to other applicants and it is important to be prepared and score as high as possible as this is a competitive program. 

Q: What is considered a good PAX score?

A: We compare the PAX exam scores to the applicants of each application period so we will not have comparative information until after the final notification of the application period. The averages of the students accepted to the fall 2014 program were as follows:

PAX Test Verbal 67% correct

PAX Test Math 78% correct

PAX Test Science 68% correct

PAX Composite 125 Average

Q: When is the PAX test offered?

A: The PAX test is only offered at CBU during the School of Nursing application periods for students accepted to CBU as a pre-nursing student. Applicants may take the exam at another location and send the official score report to CBU. Please refer to the NLN website for options.

Q: Who is eligible to take the PAX exam?
A: Students who have been accepted to the university as a pre-nursing student, have a current GPA of 2.7 or higher, have or will complete all prerequisites by the stated deadline with a grade of “C” or better may take the PAX exam at CBU. We do not offer the PAX exam to non-CBU students.

Q: How do I register for the PAX exam?

A: Registration for the PAX exam will be online only. Registration for spring 2016 applicants will open at 9am May 14th and will close two business days prior to the test date if not full. Only eligible applicants should register for the exam. Eligibility is described above. If you register for the exam and do not meet the eligibility requirements for the BSN program, no refund will be issued. It is highly recommended that you view your spring grades and cumulative GPA prior to registering. Please note that the Inside CBU degree guide may not reflect an accurate cumulative GPA if you have repeated any courses. For question about your GPA please contact the Office of the University Registrar.

The PAX will be offered on Fridays at the School of Nursing Building computer lab, room 110. 

Space is limited for each testing date so it is recommended that you sign up early to secure your desired date. Once a test date is filled no other registration will be accepted for that date.

You may take the PAX at another location but must send the official transcript directly from NLN.

Q: Is there a cost for the PAX exam?

A: The exam costs $45 and you must pay at the time of online registration. There is no refund. Be sure to read all information prior to registering.

Q: How can I prepare for the PAX exam?

A: You can purchase the NLN study guide online. We are currently using the third edition. You may use any study guide to help you prepare. There are many available resources found online for the PAX-RN exam. CBU students are highly encouraged to use the Academic Success Center to review any content he/she needs assistance in.

Q: How many times can I take the PAX?

A: You may take the exam once every six months (once per application period)

Q: Where do I take the exam?

A: The exam is given at the School of Nursing Skills building located at 8310 Magnolia Ave. The SON is located at the corner of Adams & Magnolia. There is no parking allowed at the SON or CVS across the street. You must allow yourself time to park on main campus and walk to the SON.

Q: What do I bring to the exam?

A: A photo ID and the admission ticket that will be emailed to you a few days prior to your exam from NLN are required for admittance. A CBU ID card or state issued driver's license is acceptable. Paper and pencils will be provided. No calculators are permitted.

Transfer Students

Q: Do you accept transfer students?

A: It will vary semester to semester based on the pre-nursing population at CBU. We did accept a few transfer students each semester in the 11/12 and 12/13 academic years, however we only accepted CBU students for the fall 2013 and fall 2014 BSN programs. We recommend you apply to CBU as a pre-nursing student and complete at least one full time semester (minimum 12 units) before applying to the nursing program as we do consider CBU students who have completed a minimum of 12 units prior to applying to the BSN program prior to currently full-time enrolled CBU students and non-CBU students.

Q: If I transfer to CBU, when will I be considered a CBU student?

A: Students who are enrolled for or have already completed at least one full-time semester (minimum 12 units) are no longer considered transfer students.

Q: If I am a transfer student, with all prerequisites completed can I apply directly to the School of Nursing?

A: Even if the prerequisite courses are completed, you must still apply to the university first as an undergraduate pre-nursing student and be accepted to the university before applying to the School of Nursing.

Q: How do I know which classes will transfer from another college or university?

A: For a list of equivalent courses from other community colleges, please see the articulation agreements

Q: What if I am a transfer student and I have completed all of my prerequisites?

A: There may still be general education and degree requirements you may take at CBU. You may also consider one the many Health Science minors offered through the College of Allied Health to enhance your education. 

Q: Will you evaluate my prerequisite courses taken at another college/university?

A: Once you have been accepted and confirm your attendance as a CBU pre-nursing student, you will receive an official transcript review from the University Registrar’s Office prior to your initial registration. Due to this high volume of inquiries we cannot evaluate transcripts prior to acceptance to CBU. Please refer to the articulation agreements. If your school is not listed then we do not have an articulation agreement with this institution. 

Q: What if I already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree?

A: You may consider our EL MSN program which is a graduate program designed for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree and are looking to transition into nurse leaders.

Q: Is the SAT/ACT required?

A: The School of Nursing does not require either of these exams however you may need one of these exams for university admissions. Your university admissions counselor will let you know. 

Q: Do I have to have hospital/health care experience before I can apply to the program?

A: Some exposure to hospital/health care settings is highly recommended. Interacting with patients and health care professionals is essential to creating a foundation that promotes the critical thinking and clinical decision making necessary for the development and practice of fundamental nursing skills however we do not have a minimum requirement of practical experience.

After Applying to the BSN Program

Q: How will I know if you received all of BSN admission documents?

A: You will be able to track your documents via our online application portal 

Q: How do you determine who is selected for the program?

A: The Nursing Admissions Committee reviews all applicants and students are selected based on various criteria including GPA, science GPA, recommendations, PAX exam, and hospital/health care experience. CBU students with 12 units completed or enrolled in are considered prior to transfer students. 

Q: Do you interview everyone who applies to the program?

A: Not all qualified applicants will be scheduled for an interview.

Q: When are interviews scheduled if I am selected?

A: Within a few weeks of the application deadline you will be contacted via email to schedule an interview if you are being considered for the program or an email denying your acceptance. 

Q: When will I find out if I am accepted to the program?

A: Upon completion of a successful interview, final applicants will be selected and an e-mail within two weeks of spring grades posting for a fall program applicant and by mid-November for a spring program applicant. 

Q: Is there a waiting list?
A: We do not maintain a waiting list. 

Q: Can I reapply if I am not accepted the first time I apply?

A: Yes, you can reapply during the next open application period via NursingCAS. Your application will be considered with all other new applicants. We highly recommend that an applicant not apply to the BSN program more than twice.

Program Information

Q: How long is the entire program?

A: 4 years; 41/2 years or 5 years depending on completion of prerequisite courses and other degree requirements. 

Q: Am I required to attend an Information Session?

A: We highly recommend you RSVP to attend an information session as we discuss pertinent details of the program and clarify admission guidelines, prerequisite courses, financial aid, etc.

Q: Is this program accredited?

A: The California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) has approved the program. CBU is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Our Baccalaureate program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Q: Are you on a semester or quarter system?

A: CBU has three semesters: fall, spring, and summer.

Q: How much does the program cost?

A: Please refer to the Tuition and Fees page. In addition to the tuition costs, there is a nursing program fee of $1500 per semester. Additional expenses will be required to maintain clinical clearance. This amount does not include room, board or textbooks. 

Q: Does admission as a pre-nursing student guarantee acceptance to the BSN program?

A: No, pre-nursing students must apply to the School of Nursing and meet the other admissions criteria for consideration.

Q: When do classes start for the BSN program?

A: Classes start in the spring semester (January) and the fall semester (September) of each year. 

Q: Once I complete the prerequisites and other degree requirements, how long is the nursing program?

A: The nursing program is 6 semesters for a total of 3 years. Nursing classes are in session September through April; classes are not offered during the summer semester.

Q: When do you schedule classes and clinical hours?

A: The BSN classes are offered weekdays with possible weekend, evening, and early morning clinical hours. Students are expected to be available as schedules vary each semester. 

Q: Do you have an accelerated BSN program?

A: We do not have an accelerated Baccalaureate program at this time.

Q: Do you offer the program part-time or online?

A: Currently the program is only offered full-time; we do not offer an online option.

Q: If I meet all of the requirements will I be accepted to the program?

A: We have more qualified students than spaces available in the BSN program. Meeting the requirements does not guarantee acceptance to the program. 

Q: What is the School of Nursing's reputation in the community?
A: The School of Nursing has an excellent reputation in the community as does the university. We anticipate our graduates will be actively recruited by local and state health care providers. CBU is the first four-year regionally and nationally accredited university in the County of Riverside to be approved for such a program.

Q: What is the program's NCLEX pass rate?

A: A high percentage of our students pass the NCLEX exam on the first attempt. The most current BSN program pass rates can be found on the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website:

Q: Will I be required to complete clinical rotation hours as part of the program?

A: Yes, all BSN students are required to participate in clinical practicum hours as mandated by the California Board of Registered Nurses (BRN). The CBU School of Nursing meets or exceeds all clinical hour requirements.

Q: Can I work while I am in the BSN program?

A: Applicants are advised that the program requires a very intensive, full-time commitment. It is recommended that you dedicate an adequate amount of time to studying before deciding to work while preparing for licensure.

Q: When will I become a nurse?

A: Upon successful completion of the program, you will prepare for the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) to become licensed as a registered nurse prepared to practice nursing at the bedside in a hospital setting.

Q: How will this degree prepare me to better serve patients?

A: Studies show BSN and master’s prepared nurses are more likely to demonstrate professional behaviors important to patient safety including:

  • better clinical judgment
  • critical thinking skills and problem solving
  • performance of complex functions
  • effective communication
  • early detection of complications and problems in care

Q: Which clinical affiliations do you work with? (partial list)

A: To ensure students receive a variety of clinical experiences, rotations will take place at various hospitals and health care facilities as assigned. 

Currently we have clinical partnerships with Corona Regional Medical Center (CRMC); Kaiser Permanente - Fontana, Riverside, Lakeview, Moreno Valley; Loma Linda Veterans Administration (LLVA); Parkview Community Hospital; Patton State Hospital; Riverside Community Hospital (RCH); Riverside County Mental Health In-patient Services; Riverside County Public Health Department; Riverside County Regional Medical Center (RCRMC); San Bernardino County Public Health Department; Arrowhead Regional Medical Center; Ballard Rehab Hospital; Desert Valley Hospital; Eisenhower Medical Center; Menifee Valley Medical Center; Redlands Community Hospital; Saint Mary’s Medical Center; San Antonio Hospital; Riverside Medical Clinic; and San Bernardino Community Hospital.

Q: Do you offer an LVN to RN program?

A: Yes, a limited number of units may be substituted from a WASC accredited LVN program for BSN courses however all BSN prerequisites must be met. 

Q: I’m a LVN, can I apply to the BSN program?

A: Yes, you can apply to the university as a pre-nursing student in preparation for the BSN program.

Q: How will I know if my LVN courses transfer to CBU?

A: Once you are accepted and enrolled as a CBU nursing student, you will receive an official transcript review by the Program Director. All course syllabi will need to be provided with your BSN application packet.

Financial Information

Q: What is financial aid?

A: Financial aid is any funding a student receives through grants, scholarships, work-study and loans to assist you in paying for college costs.

Q: How do I apply for financial aid?

A: You must submit a FAFSA (Free Application for federal Student Aid) to the Department of Education for the appropriate academic year. 

Q: What if I need assistance completing the FAFSA?

A: For tips on completing the FAFSA, please visit

Q: What is your school code for FAFSA?

A: Our school code is 001125

Q: Do you offer scholarships, grants and loans?

A: Undergraduate students at CBU will find the widest range of financial aid available to them, including scholarships, awards and loans.

Q: How do you determine who is eligible for scholarships?

A: Scholarships are based upon merit, achievement, anticipated achievement and other factors. Review the criteria for each scholarship for specific details.

Q: Do you have a list of scholarships for nursing students?

A: Please visit the School of Nursing home page for a partial list of nursing scholarships. We recommend you do some research for additional options.

International Students

Q: My bachelor's degree is from a foreign university. Do I have to get it evaluated? 

A: Yes. Prior to submitting an application to the School of Nursing, applicants must have all foreign transcripts evaluated by a Credential Evaluation Service to confirm their academic equivalency to educational standards of accredited colleges and universities in the United States. Please submit a copy of the evaluation report with your nursing application. 

Q: Which credential evaluation service do you recommend?

A: International Education Research Foundation, Inc (IERF)
P.O. Box 3665, Culver City, CA 90231-3655
Office: 310- 258-9451; Fax: 310-342-7086

Q: I am a registered nurse with a degree from another country. Can I take a class at CBU to fulfill the requirements for RN licensure in California?

A: Currently CBU only allows nursing students who are accepted into the program to take classes. We do not offer any stand alone courses to individuals who are not in the program.

Q: Where can I find more information about applying to CBU as an international student?

A: Please visit our International website.