BS in Nursing (Pre-Licensure)

Units required for Pre-Clinical: 29
Units required for Major: 61
Total units required for BS: 120

Program Description

The School of Nursing provides excellent and innovative undergraduate and graduate nursing education designed to meet the needs of a diverse community. Students are prepared for roles in nursing as clinicians, advocates, researchers, educators, and leaders in the changing health care system.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Sacramento State baccalaureate Nursing program is a two-step process:

  1. admission to the University and
  2. admission to the Clinical Nursing program

Prospective first-time freshmen and transfer students, who will not complete certain Clinical Nursing prerequisites by the time they enroll, may apply for University admission at any time up to the regular application deadline. They will be considered "expressed interest" until they enter the Clinical Nursing program.

Up to 80 traditional pre-licensure students are admitted to the clinical portion of the baccalaureate Nursing program each semester. A competitive selection process has been established since applications exceed program space in the traditional pre-licensure program. Newly admitted students are selected from among candidates who meet the prerequisite requirements and follow the supplemental application procedures described below. Continuing Sacramento State, transfer students, and second baccalaureate degree applicants are given equal consideration in the selection process for available new seats.

The clinical portion of the nursing program is open only to those who can satisfy the California residence requirements. Students who qualify for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, AB 540 status, or military fee waiver are eligible.

Admission Advising

Group advising meetings are scheduled throughout the academic year. Times of these meetings and program publications are available at on the School of Nursing website.

Application Procedures - Nursing Pre-Licensure BSN Program

Clinical Nursing Selection Criteria

  • The GPA of the pre-clinical and corequisite courses completed at the time of application, the results of the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS), and the optional criteria, if selected by the student, will be used to determine program admission.
  • Applicants who satisfy the minimum admission point total are selected from a rank ordering or total points assigned to different GPA and TEAS result levels as well as points assigned to the optional criteria.

Prerequisites Requirements - Nursing Pre-Licensure BSN

The following prerequisites are to be met by time of enrollment unless otherwise stated.

  • Completion of six of the eight specific courses listed under pre-clinical courses. One science and one non-science pre-clinical course may be in progress at the time of application. All eight pre-clinical courses must be completed in December when applying for a spring term; June for fall. When applying for a fall term, coursework completed in summer will not be considered or accepted. Pre-Clinical courses are acceptable regardless of date completed, but current knowledge is essential.
  • Applicants are encouraged to complete the corequisite courses prior to admission. Introductory Psychology, Nutrition, and Life Span Human Development must be completed prior to the second semester of the nursing program. A societal-cultural patterns course must be completed prior to licensure and graduation.
  • A minimum science GPA of 3.0 is required on the pre-clinical science courses completed at the time of application (anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and chemistry).  One science course may be in progress at the time of application.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.3 is required on the pre-clinical and corequisite courses completed at the time of application. Applicants may omit up to two grades from their GPA calculation providing they have a minimum of eight grades total, including 2 science grades.  For example, an applicant applying with nine grades may omit one grade; an applicant with 10-12 grades may omit up to two grades. All pre-clinical and corequisite courses must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better. Up to 50 admission points will be assigned based on the applicant's GPA (see School of Nursing website for details).
  • All GPAs will be calculated using standard weights, not varying institutional unit assignments.  Science lab courses will be weighted four (4) units; all other coursework will be weighted three (3) units.  Pluses and minuses are not considered.
  • Only three (3) of the twelve (12) grades in the Nursing GPA calculation may be repeats; only one (1) of the three (3) repeats may be a science course.  A third attempt will not be considered.  Courses over seven (7) years old are acceptable, but not included in repeat count.
  • Completion of the ATI, Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). A minimum score of 75.0% is required. The test must be taken no later than March 1 for the following fall semester or October 1 for the following spring semester. The test may be taken three times within a five-year period preceding the Supplemental Nursing Application deadline. The highest score will be used. Points will be assigned based on the applicant's total score from the best testing.See School of Nursing website for current point details and amounts.
  • A minimum admission point total is required.  The total will be based on current applicant pool statistics and posted on the Nursing website.

Optional points for admission (see School of Nursing website for current point details and amounts) are awarded in the following categories:

Bilingual Skills in Spanish, Chinese, South East Asian Languages, Indian Languages (Hindi, Punjabi), Tagalog, Russian, Farsi, Arabic, or American Sign Language will be determined by:

  • completion of an oral proficiency examination;
  • transcript documenting instruction provided in approved language.

Health-Related Work Experience. Candidates may receive points for documentation of paid or volunteer work in acute, long term, clinical, or community settings which involves direct human-client/patient interactions. Hours may be combined from multiple locations. Points are awarded for the following increments of time:

  • 50 hours – minimum possible points
  • 75 hours
  • 100 hours – maximum possible points

Background. Details can be found on the nursing website.

  • First-Generation College Student.  Neither parent graduated with an associate or higher degree.
  • Environmental Background: Attending a disadvantaged high school.

GPA Calculation: Candidates may receive points for having no course omits for total GPA calculation and/or not having a repeat of a pre- or co-requisite course. Details can be found on the nursing website.

Additional Information

Health Requirements

Students admitted to the Clinical Nursing program are required to have specified immunizations by the Student Health Center or a private physician prior to beginning nursing coursework. Drug and alcohol screening is required before beginning clinical nursing (see below for details). Health insurance is required. Complete information on health requirements for nursing students may be secured from the School of Nursing.

Technology Competence

To be successful in the curriculum, students must be able to demonstrate competency in computer technology, such as word processing, use of the Internet, e-mail, and database searches. Clinical nursing students are required to own a personal computer.

Professional Liability Insurance, Automobile Insurance, Transportation and CPR Certification

All students enrolled in clinical laboratory courses in the nursing major must pay the University fee for professional liability insurance, provide proof of automobile insurance, and have a means of transportation to extended campus facilities. Professional liability insurance is mandatory prior to beginning clinical experiences. CPR certification for medical professionals is required as a prerequisite to the program and recertification must be maintained according to the requirements of the American Heart Association.

Background Checks

Nursing students must satisfactorily complete all clinical, community, and laboratory requirements in order to progress in courses, progress in the program, and to receive their degree. In order to make an initial determination as to whether there are any current barriers to admitted students qualifying for and/or participating in clinical programs, all admitted students must submit to a background check and drug screen under the direction of the nursing program prior to enrollment. Requirement for drug screening is consistent with the California Board of Registered Nursing guidelines for safe nursing practice. Results of background checks and drug screens will be provided to the nursing program's affiliating clinical agencies (partner agencies) which must approve the background checks and drug screens in order for students to qualify for participation in and fulfillment of the required clinical component. Students will be advised of any identified issues impacting their eligibility for participation in required clinical and community placements prior to making their decision to enroll. The full policy concerning background checks and drug screening in the nursing program can be found on the School of Nursing website. Students should also be aware that the State of California Board of Registered Nursing makes determinations for licensure based in part on background checks. Students who have concerns regarding their background checks should review the BRN website for information related to initial licensure before determining whether to apply and/or enroll in the nursing program.

Challenge by Examination

The School of Nursing offers the opportunity of petitioning certain nursing courses for credit by examination. Students who by reason of special study, experience or training, already possess the skills, knowledge, and attitudes which are the objectives of the given course, may petition for credit by examination. A maximum of 30 units may be challenged. Licensed Registered Nurses, Licensed Vocational Nurses, and Corpsmen are examples of students who may be eligible to challenge specific nursing courses. Additional information may be obtained by referring to "Credit by Examination" in this catalog or by contacting the School of Nursing.

Note: Students graduating with a Pre-Licensure BS Program in Nursing (traditional) will not be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement. Students who change major may be subject to the University’s Foreign Language Graduation Requirement.

Program Requirements

Required Pre-Clinical Courses (29 Units)
Select a two-semester Anatomy and Physiology series with an in-class lab such as:8
Human Anatomy and Physiology I
Human Anatomy and Physiology II
Select a Microbiology course with an in-class lab such as:4
Microbiology for Allied Health Students
Select a Chemistry course; general, inorganic, organic, or integrated (with associated lab if required at the Institution where the course was taken) such as:5
Introduction to General Chemistry
Select an introductory college composition (any GE Area A2) course such as:3
Accelerated Academic Literacies 1
Select an Oral Communication (any GE Area A1) course such as:3
Introduction to Public Speaking 1
Select a statistics (any GE Area B4) course such as:3
Introduction to Statistics 1
Select a Critical Thinking (any GE Area A3) course such as:3
Argumentation 1
Language, Culture, and Critical Thinking
Required Clinical Nursing Courses (61 Units)
At any time prior to 2nd semester
CHDV 30Human Development (or similar course in Life Span Human Development) 13
NUFD 10Nutrition And Wellness3
PSYC 2Introductory Psychology (or similar course in Introductory Psychology) 13
First Semester Courses
NURS 111Introduction to Professional Nursing3
NURS 112Nursing Care Of Adults5
NURS 113Professional Nursing Communication, Assessment and Skills4
Second Semester Courses
NURS 120Nursing Application of Research and Critical Analysis 1,23
NURS 123Nursing Families in Complex Illness6
NURS 129Mental Health Nursing5
Third Semester Courses
NURS 136Nursing Laboratory for the Childbearing Family1
NURS 137Nursing the Childbearing Family5
NURS 138Nursing the Childrearing Family5
NURS 139Nursing Laboratory for the Childrearing Family1
Fourth Semester Courses
NURS 143Leadership and Management in Nursing Practice3
NURS 144Community Health Nursing5
NURS 145Clinical Leadership and Professional Role Development6
Additional Graduation Requirements (3 Units)
Select a course in societal-cultural patterns at any time before graduation and prior to certification of eligibility for state licensure such as:3
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology 1
Cultural Diversity 1
Contemporary American Culture in Anthropological Perspective
Culture and Poverty 1
Introduction to Ethnic Studies 1
Ethnic America 1
Multicultural America 1
Principles of Sociology 1
The following additional courses are recommended but not required:
Human Sexuality
The Brain and Gender-Related Differences 1,2
Total Units93

When possible, students are encouraged to apply their pre-clinical courses to General Education requirements.


  • Applicants with a prior baccalaureate degree are exempt from General Education requirements.
  • In addition to the major in Nursing, students may also complete a minor in another discipline. There are numerous disciplines which would enrich the baccalaureate degree in Nursing (e.g., Gerontology). Information on minors can be obtained by contacting the department of interest.
  • Satisfactory completion of the program requires a grade of "C" or better in every nursing course. The policy in the School of Nursing permits one repeat of only one failed course. However, opportunity to repeat a failed nursing course will depend upon the number of students enrolled in the course, the availability of clinical and community experiences (if applicable), and a successful petition to repeat from the School of Nursing. Course repeats are not permitted to increase grade.

General Education Requirements1

Area A: Basic Subjects
A1 - Oral Communication 20
A2 - Written Communication 20
A3 - Critical Thinking 20
Area B: Physical Universe and Its Life Forms (3 Units)
B1 - Physical Science 20
B2 - Life Forms3
B3 - Lab (Note: Lab experience to be taken with one of the following: B1, B2 or B5) 20
B4 - Math Concepts 20
B5 - Additional Course (Any B to reach 12 units) - Take upper-division course to complete Area & upper division requirements. 20
Area C: Arts and Humanities (12 Units)
C1 - Arts3
C2 - Humanities3
C1/C2 - Area C Course3
C1/C2 - Area C Course - Take upper-division course to complete Area & upper division requirements.3
Area D: The Individual and Society (6-9 Units)
Area D Course3
Area D Course3
Area D Course 20
Area D Course - Take upper-division course to complete Area & upper division requirements. 30 - 3
Area E: Understanding Personal Development
Area E Course 20
Total Units21-24

Graduation Requirements1

Graduation Requirements (required by CSU) (6 Units)
American Institutions: U.S. History3
American Institutions: U.S. Constitution & CA Government3
Writing Intensive (WI) 20
Graduation Requirements (required by Sacramento State) (6 Units)
English Composition II3
Race and Ethnicity in American Society (RE)3
Foreign Language Proficiency Requirement 30