Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ s)

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1 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ s) California State University Los Angeles School of Nursing BSN BASIC (Generic) Program 1. What are the required pre-requisite courses for admission to the Nursing major? -Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II -Fundamentals of Chemistry *Critical Thinking course -English 101 -Statistics -Microbiology -Public Speaking or Oral Communication * Several community colleges offer an English course that has a critical thinking component which will satisfy the critical thinking requirement and ENGL 102(university requirement) at CSULA. Please check with your community and/or These courses in addition to other GE courses must be taken at a community college or CSULA before applying for the nursing major. It is important to have a 2.75 grade point or better in these courses to be considered for the Nursing major. In addition when you graduate you will have 84 units in general education and 111 units in required nursing courses and related fields for a total of 195 units. 2. What other requirements are there to apply to the School of Nursing? a. Taking the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills), we look at a student s ability to read and understand English. b. Volunteering/working in a hospital or health-related field increases probability of being admitted. 3. How many students apply every year? What are my chances of being accepted? As many as students may apply each year and we accept 60 from that applicant pool. Applicants are rated on their overall GPA, their GPA in selected pre-requisites, their score on the TEAS exam, and their experience in the health care field and/or another degree. 4. How long is the program? Once you are admitted to the School of Nursing, you have 3 years of course work yearround before you are eligible to graduate with a BSN. Most students spend 2 years completing their prerequisites, for a total of 5 years.

2 5. How many units do I need to graduate with a BSN? To graduate with a BSN degree the student must complete 195 (quarter) units. The university accepts up to 105 units from a community college. 6. What kinds of courses will I take in the Nursing program? You will take courses in pathophysiology (the study of disease), physical assessment, basic nursing skills, medical/surgical nursing, pediatrics, maternal/child nursing, psychiatric nursing, public health, case management and others. Most of these courses will have a theory (lecture) component and a practice (clinical) component where you will go to various health care facilities in the LA area to care for patients under supervision. 7. What do I need to do after graduation to begin working as a Registered Nurse? You will take and pass the NCLEX (National Council Licensing Exam) which tests your nursing knowledge. CSULA School of Nursing prepares you to take this exam and in the past 10 years, 90% or more of our graduates have passed this exam in their first attempt. 8. What kind of nursing might I do once I graduate? The possibilities are almost endless! You can work in a hospital in any of the specialty areas. You might work in the operating room, the emergency department, or an intensive care unit caring for infants, children and/or adults. You can join the military and work as an Army, Air Force, or Navy nurse. You might decide to do public health nursing, home health nursing or work in a clinic. You can come back to graduate school at CSULA and become a nurse practitioner, educator in nursing or an administrator. 9. What is the average salary of a RN in the Los Angeles area? California has a higher salary than most other states and although this will vary with experience and the facility, currently the beginning median yearly salary is $73, Will it be easy to get a job as an RN? Currently the job market is competitive. Earning a BSN will greatly increase your chances of getting an RN position. 11. Why should I come to CSULA for nursing school? CSULA School of Nursing is rated best in the CSU system. A diverse student body, with caring professors and a wealth of excellent facilities to practice in the LA area, makes our school the place to be! 2

3 12. Do I have to take the TEAS or other admissions test to apply to the BSN-Basic Nursing Program? Completion of the standardized Assessment Technologies Incorporated (ATI) Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) is mandatory for all applicants. 13. How many parts are in the TEAS? The test consists of 4 parts; they are Math, Reading, Science, and English. The National Percentile Rank score for each category must be 40 or above to be considered passing. 14. How long is the TEAS exam? The TEAS exam is approximately 5 hours long (includes check-in and instructions). 15. Is there a study guide for the TEAS exam? Yes. We highly recommended an ATI/TEAS study guide. It can be purchased from ATI at 16. If I retake the TEAS exam, do I retake just the section(s) where I scored below 40, or can I retake the entire exam? You must take the entire exam again. NOTE: the test can only be taken twice a year with at least a three week time period between test taking dates. 17. If I retake the TEAS exam, will the CSULA SON program take the higher score or the average score for each section? The higher test score will be used. 18. What is the difference between the unofficial and official transcript? Students will have to pay for their official transcripts from the universities they attended, and they are in seal envelopes. Once you open the official transcript then it will become unofficial. You can also print your unofficial transcript from the school/university website that you attended or are currently attending. 19. How many sets of transcripts do I need? You will need 2 sets of transcripts. One set will be submitted with your SON application and the other will be sent to the University admissions office. You may hand deliver transcripts as long as they are sealed. Transcripts must be received by Cal State L.A. within one year of the document s issuing/print date (within two years for international transcripts) or they will be considered invalid. 20. When can I apply to the School of Nursing? The nursing application will be on line in September. It will be on the School of Nursing website. Note: you will need to apply one year in advance, and you can have your prerequisite courses in progress but they will be due so please check the application for deadlines. 3

4 21. I won t have all of my prerequisites completed by the application deadline. Can I still apply to the nursing program? If you will not have your prerequisites due on time, then you should wait to apply for the following year. 22. How important is it for me to volunteer? It is very important for you to volunteer so you can get a sense of the field. Volunteer experience must be in a patient-related situation or student experience in a patient related situation. 23. Are there any time limits of the prerequisite courses for the nursing program? We do not have time limits for our prerequisite courses. 24. Can I repeat prerequisites for higher grades? The CSULA SON will not recognize repetition of a course when the original grade was a C or better. 25. Is C- (minus) a passing grade at CSULA School of Nursing? A C- (minus) grade in any required courses is not acceptable. 26. Does CSULA School of Nursing accept international students? Yes, as long as the international admissions criteria is met. 27. If I have an international transcript, which department evaluates my transcripts first? The University International Admissions office. 28. Do international students need to take the TOFEL exam? All applicants, regardless of citizenship, whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English, must demonstrate competence in English. Test scores are to be turned in to the international admissions office and must be no more than 2yrs old. 29. When entering to the nursing program what documents will students need? Students in the nursing program must carry university liability insurance, personal insurance and valid California driver s license. Note: The California Board of Registered Nursing requires possession of either a Social Security number or taxpayer ID to apply for licensure. 30. Does CSULA SON require students to do a background check before they begin the Nursing program? Nursing students must have a cleared background check that is acceptable to clinical 4

5 agencies after acceptance to the School of Nursing. Since the California State Board of Nursing makes the final determination on eligibility for licensure, a positive background check may be a barrier to licensure, certification and employment. 31. Does the CSULA s nursing program select its students by lottery? No, applicants are ranked based on their points earned according to the supplementary criteria. The top-ranked students will be sent letters of acceptance. 32. Does the CSULA s nursing program have a waiting list? Only during the application cycle, any waitlisted applicants who do not get admitted must re-apply. 33. Where do I get a nursing application for the nursing program? On the SON home page. 34. I am a LVN, do I qualify for the Basic program? Yes. 35. Does CSULA SON accept second baccalaureate students? Yes. 36. Where can I find the University Deadlines? It is important that you abide by University deadlines or your application will be invalid. Go to the following website and select the appropriate term: 37. Once I am admitted to CSULA, am I accepted into nursing program? No, it is a 2 steps process. The University and the SON will have to accept you before you can begin the nursing program. The paperwork to declare you a Nursing major is completed the day of the SON orientation (day before fall begins). 38. What happens if I do not get accepted to the nursing program? You can apply again or change your major. While you are waiting to re-apply, you can take the following courses at CSULA (if you have not already) needed for the Nursing program and University Requirements: NTRS 250/317 SOC 201 PSYCH 160 HHS 301(transfer)/HHS 101(freshman) ENGL 102 5

6 UNIV 400 (WPE) Upper Division Theme (3 courses) Note: you should also apply for other nursing programs. 39. How do I know if the classes I took at the community college I attended are equivalent to the ones required at CSULA? One can easily determine if the classes one took at the community college will be accepted at CSULA by using the Assist option on the CSULA homepage. That page can be accessed at the following web address: or on assist.org. After accessing the main page click on Attend Cal State LA and again on Transfer Student Services. This will bring up the Assist website: click on the assist image. Under Institution, click on the drop down box and find Cal State LA and click on that. When you see agreements with other campuses, click on the drop down box and find the community college you attended and select that college. After identifying this you can click on department and locate the class you wish to compare. A table will appear that shows you which class at CSULA articulates with the class you took at the community college you attended. If you are an international student, you must have your transcripts reviewed by the International Student Admissions department before you meet with an advisor. 40. Other than nursing classes, what other classes do I have to take to receive a BSN degree? In addition to the required nursing courses, students must meet the CSULA graduation requirements for both lower and upper division education. These requirements are clearly outlined in the university catalog or class schedule. These can be picked up in the CSULA bookstore or found online. Additional classes required by the School of Nursing include: Sociology 201-Principles of Sociology (minimum 4 sem/3 qtr units) Nutrition 250 or 317-Human Nutrition (minimum 4 sem/3 qtr units) Psychology 160-Psychology of Developing Person (minimum 4 sem/3 qtr units) 41. What happens to my application if I do not get in? Once you apply your application becomes the property of the School of Nursing. If you reapply you may indicate that you are re-applying on your application and your previous materials can be used. Applications are only kept for 1 year then shredded at the end of the following application window. 6

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