Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

WCU’s BSN program combines classroom learning with hands-on simulation to help you prepare for the real-world demands of a nursing career.

10 Weeks

10-week terms allow for start dates throughout the year

39 Months

Earn your BSN in as few as 39 months at the Accelerated program pace

120 Credits

Complete 120 credits to earn your BSN degree

BSN Program Highlights

Real Life Icon

Technologically advanced simulation labs allowing you to practice real-life scenarios with high-fidelity manikins that cry, sweat, and react like real patients

A team dedicated to helping you find a local clinical placement (leveraging WCU’s diverse range of clinical partners)

Individualized support as you prepare for your licensure examination to become a registered nurse (RN)

Personalized attention and support from the moment you step onto campus to beyond graduation

Why Pursue a BSN Degree?

Are you interested in becoming a registered nurse so you can change people’s lives for the better? If so, you may want to consider earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, which provides you with both the didactic learning and hands-on practice you need to prepare for the fast-paced world of patient care.

According to a 2021 survey by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 77.4% of employers said they have a strong preference for nurses with a BSN degree, and 40.6% of hospitals and healthcare settings require newly hired nurses to have a bachelor’s degree.1 A Bachelor of Science in Nursing provides training in evidence-based care, health policy, best practices for quality improvement, and leadership skills. It can also put you on track to pursue an advanced nursing degree in the future.

WCU’s BSN program focuses on the preparation of nurses who are life-long learners and critical thinkers. Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensing examination to become a registered nurse. Benefit from WCU’s student-centric approach to education, technologically advanced simulation labs, and innovative learning tools that are designed to aid in your success!

Overview: Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program

Program Details

At WCU, you can choose a program pace that works for your schedule. Whether you want to go full-speed in your studies or complete your program at a slower pace to balance school with your other responsibilities, we have an option for you.

Here are the available paces for the BSN program:

Accelerated Pace


120 Credits

39 Months

8 Semesters

Evening & Weekend Pace*


120 Credits

44 Months

9 Semesters

Working Professional Pace**


120 Credits

54 Months

11 Trimesters


This curriculum applies to students matriculating or reentering after December 1, 2022.

General Education Requirements

All science courses must have been taken within the last five calendar years, unless the student possesses a degree or advanced degree in the specific field of study for which the student is seeking transfer credit. Additional information regarding transfer credit is located in the university’s catalog under Transfer Credit policy or below.

Category and RequirementsWCU Course RequirementsTransferable / Options
Foundational CourseFYS 001(0): First Year Seminar (Los Angeles, Ontario, Miami {prior to Spring II 2023}, and Orange County {prior to Summer 1 2023} Campuses)

FHE 100(3): Foundations of Higher Education (Texas, Miami {starting Spring II 2023}, and Orange County {starting Summer I 2023} Campuses)

A1- Written Communication
(5 Semester Credits and 2 Courses Minimum)
*ENGL 140(3): Written Communication I
*ENGL 240(3): Written Communication II
Any equivalent courses that meet the General Education categorical requirements.
A2. Oral Communication
(2.5 Semester Credits Minimum)
*SPCH 142(3): Oral CommunicationAny equivalent courses that meet the General Education categorical requirements.
A3. Critical Thinking
(2.5 Semester Credits Minimum)
*PHIL 341(3): Critical ReasoningAny equivalent courses that meet the General Education categorical requirements.
A4. Quantitative Reasoning
(5 Semester Credits and 2 Courses Minimum)
MATH 108(3): College Mathematics I
MATH 211(3): Statistics
Any equivalent courses that meet the General Education categorical requirements.
B1. Social and Behavioral Sciences / Cultural Diversity, Tradition
(8 Semester Credits and 3 Courses Minimum)
*PSYC 160(3): Psychology
*PSYC 290(3): Life Span Psychology
*HUM 370(3): Cultural Pluralism
Equivalent to PSYC 160
Equivalent to PSYC 290
Any equivalent courses that meet the General Education categorical requirements.
B2. Life and Physical Sciences
(12 Semester Credits and 4 Courses Minimum)
ANAT 260(4): Human Anatomy

PHYS 261(4): Human Physiology

CHEM 280(4): Chemistry

MICR 290(4): General Microbiology

Equivalent to ANAT 260

Equivalent to PHYS 261

Non-transferable at the Orange County Campus starting Summer I 2023

Equivalent to CHEM 280

Equivalent to MICR 290

B3. General Education Capstone
(3 Semester Credits)
CAPS 401(3): General EducationCapstone
(Los Angeles, Ontario, Miami {prior to Spring II 2023}, Orange County {prior to Summer I 2023} Campuses)
A minimum of 46 credits is required for graduation.
*As of April 2019, this course will be delivered online, asynchronously, through the institution’s Learning Management System except where otherwise authorized by the Program Dean/Director.

General Education within the Area of Study

PATH 370Pathophysiology3
PHIL 434Medical Ethics and Issues3
Total Credit Hours:6

Note: If scheduled, the following courses are to be taken at WCU:FYS 001,FHE 100,CAPS 401, andPATH 370andPHYS 261(OC Campus only, starting Summer I 2023).

Core Nursing Courses

NURS 100Fundamentals of Nursing3
NURS 101LFundamentals of Nursing Skills Lab2
NURS 110Introduction to Professional Nursing2
NURS 120Introduction to Medical Surgical Nursing3
NURS 121L-AIntroduction to Medical Surgical Nursing Practicum2
NURS 121L-BIntroduction to Medical Surgical Nursing Practicum – On-Campus1
NURS 180Pharmacology3
NURS 190Physical Assessment2
NURS 201Medical Surgical Nursing-Promoting Wellness3
NURS 211LMedical Surgical Nursing3
NURS 222Mental Health/Psychiatric Nursing: Promoting Wellness in the Mentally Ill3
NURS 223LMental Health/Psychiatric Nursing: Promoting Wellness Practicum2
NURS 225Nutrition in Health and Disease3
NURS 306Expanding Family and Community (OB)2
NURS 307Developing Family and Community (PEDS)2
NURS 316L-AExpanding and Developing Family and Community Practicum (OB)1.5
NURS 317L-ADeveloping Family and Community Practicum (PEDS)1.5
NURS 340Public Health Nursing3
NURS 342LPublic Health Nursing Practicum2
NURS 350Research in Nursing3
NURS 420Principles of Leadership and Management3
NURS 431Disaster Management2
NURS 440Issues and Trends in Nursing3
NURS 480Advanced Medical Surgical Nursing: Promoting Wellness Practicum3
NURS 481LAdvanced Medical Surgical Nursing: Promoting Wellness Practicum3
NURS 493*Integration of Nursing Concepts3
NURS 497Nursing Capstone1
NURS 498LIntegration of Nursing Practices3
Total Credit Hours:68.0

NURS 100,NURS 101L: pre-licensure students only

*NURS 493R– Taken if student is unsuccessful inNURS 493.

Program Credit Distribution

General Education Semester Credits46.0
General Education within the Area of Study6.0
Core Nursing Courses68.0
Total Program Semester Credits120.0
Tuition & Financial Aid

We know school is a substantial commitment. At WCU, we want to equip you with all the information you need to make the right decision for your future. For a breakdown of the BSN program costs, visit the BSN program page for the campus you wish to attend.

We offer several BSN program financial aid options — including scholarships, grants, and loan access — to help support you through your studies. For more information about your financial support options, visit our financial aid page.

Admission Requirements

To review the admission requirements for WCU’s BSN program, please visit the BSN program page for the campus you plan to attend:

*Only available at Miami and Texas campuses
**Only available at the Miami campus

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Academic Calendar

New academic terms begin, on average, every 10 weeks. The number of semesters required for your program depends on the program pace you choose. For the most updated list of term start and completion dates, view the Academic Calendar.

Simulation Centers

Technologically Advanced Sim Labs

At WCU, our goal is to build both the skills and confidence required in the nursing field. Practice using high-fidelity manikins that cry, sweat, and react like real patients. Coupled with hands-on clinical experiences, our simulations give students the opportunity to master foundational skills and graduate with confidence.

Our BSN students experience a range of patient care situations from routine to emergency. During simulation sessions, each student independently practices the functions of a registered nurse. The simulation labs at West Coast University use a full range of scenarios at all levels of the core nursing program:

  • Medical and surgical units
  • Pediatrics
  • Maternity/OB
  • Mental health
Schedule an Info Session

We invite you to attend one of our informative presentations on our programs.

Clinical Placements

A Dedicated Team Providing Support

WCU is dedicated to building long-term clinical relationships and hospital affiliations that offer students a world of options and meaningful clinical experiences.

We have coordinators of clinical relations who support students by facilitating clinical site and preceptor selection, helping streamline approvals, and assisting with compliance tracking. Our Clinical Placements team also provides coaching calls for students who need guidance on how to make their clinicals a success.

NCLEX Support

Helping BSN Students Prepare for Licensure

Passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is a critical milestone for all nurses. That’s why WCU helps prepare you every step of the way.

As a BSN student, you have access to:

  • One-on-one support from NCLEX advisors
  • NCLEX bootcamps
  • No-cost tutoring
  • A virtual library of educational books and videos
Graduation Cap

“WCU helped prepare us for the NCLEX by providing an adequate test environment, providing us with opportunities to take proctored tests that simulate the NCLEX and to test our nursing knowledge in those tests.”

– Stephanie P., BSN ’21*

Graduation Cap

“West Coast prepares you unlike any other school I have seen for the NCLEX.”
– Leslie G., BSN ’18*

Career Services

Providing Hands-On Career Support

WCU graduates get to enjoy lifelong support from our Career Services team.2 Starting when you’re a student and continuing indefinitely, you’ll have access to individualized career advice, professional development workshops on topics like resume writing and interview preparation, help finding job leads, assistance connecting with industry recruiters, and more.

Potential Job Opportunities

Once you receive your licensure as a registered nurse, you will have various options to choose from for your career path. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a registered nurse usually works with physicians and other healthcare specialists. Additionally, they may be charged with overseeing licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants, and home health aides.3

The largest employers of registered nurses (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) are:

  • Hospitals (state, local, and private)
  • Ambulatory healthcare services
  • Nursing and residential care facilities
  • Government
  • Educational services (state, local, and private)4

The Career Services team can help you find job opportunities that meet your goals!

Featured Faculty

Katie Kay, DNP, RN, PCCN-K

Dean, College of Nursing

Dr. Katie Kay is the Dean for West Coast University’s College of Nursing where she provides direct oversight to the academic quality and delivery of prelicensure-through-doctoral nursing education. She is a nurse educator and leader with a collaborative, service-oriented mindset. Dr. Kay remains passionate about accessibility for both education and healthcare to improve the way we are delivering care to the communities we serve.

Prior to her appointment at West Coast University, Dr. Kay served as the Vice President of Healthcare Academics at Emeritus where she was the in-house expert for nursing and healthcare education. In her time at Emeritus, she partnered with several leading academic institutions to create high-quality, accessible, and affordable upskilling and reskilling programs to address key gaps in healthcare delivery and healthcare leadership.

Dr. Kay has also previously held the title of Senior Director of National Academic Operations at Chamberlain University, where she was responsible for providing leadership to university-wide academic, quality, and experiential learning initiatives. In her tenure at Chamberlain University, she also worked as adjunct faculty and held the role of Associate Dean of Faculty in the Master of Science in Nursing Family Nurse Practitioner track.

Her passion for accessibility also stems from her work as an administrator at a large metropolitan hospital where she had oversight of the day-to-day operations of 22 inpatient units. Primary areas of leadership included patient safety, acuity management, throughput, accreditation, advocacy for professional nursing practice, and re-attainment of Magnet distinction.

The most recent publications for Dr. Kay includes The 3 P’s: Pharmacology Physical Assessment, and Pathophysiology (Crowley, Wallace, Letz, and Kay) and a poster presentation titled “Innovative Approaches to Clinical and Practicum Placements.”

Dr. Kay is a member of the American Association for Critical Nurses, the National League of Nursing, and the American Organization for Nursing Leadership, and she serves as the Executive Director for the Association of Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners.

Chiarina P. Piazza, PhD, MEd, RN

Dean, College of Nursing | California Program Director

Dr. Piazza has been working in the university since 2009. Her past roles included Faculty; Campus Associate Dean of Nursing, Academics; Campus Dean of Nursing; and Associate Dean, College of Nursing. Most recently, she has been appointed to the position of Dean, College of Nursing.

She has a Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing from the University of San Diego, a Master of Education from Cambridge College, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of California, Los Angeles.

With a commitment to community service, Dr. Piazza is a Commissioner for the Sister Cities Commission of Anaheim. And has previously served as Commissioner, Orange County Human Relations, and Board Member for the School Nurses of California Foundation.


How will the BSN program prepare me for a future career as a registered nurse?

WCU’s BSN program combines both didactic theory courses and clinical experience to ensure that you receive a well-rounded and practical education. In addition to learning the best practices of evidence-based care in the classroom, you will get to put it to practice both in our industry-current simulation centers and in your clinical rotations so you can enter real-world nursing situations with confidence. We also provide you with extensive resources to help you properly prepare for your licensure exam.


How long does it take to complete the BSN program?

WCU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree can be earned in 39 months (8 semesters) at the Accelerated pace. The Miami and Texas campuses also offer an Evening and Weekend pace, which can be completed in 44 months (9 semesters), and the Miami campus additionally offers the Working Professional pace, which can be completed in 54 months (11 semesters). A total of 120 semester credits are required to complete the BSN program.

Can I earn my degree if I’m working?

We offer multiple program paces so you can choose the timeline that works best for you. Taking fewer courses per term through the Working Professional pace may be your best option if you have a limited schedule due to work. Some WCU campuses also offer an Evening and Weekend program to further accommodate working students. Speak with a WCU admissions advisor to learn more about your options.

Can you get a BSN if you already have a bachelor's degree?

Yes. WCU’s BSN program is designed for those seeking to become a registered nurse (RN) regardless of the undergraduate degree they currently hold.

What master’s degree can you get with a BSN?

WCU offers a variety of master’s programs for those with a BSN degree. One option is to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). At WCU, MSN students can choose from a number of specialization tracks, such as the family nurse practitioner track, nurse leader track, or nurse educator track, just to name a few. If you are licensed as a registered nurse and you want to skip the step of getting an BSN first, you can choose WCU’s RN to MSN program.

Additional options at WCU include a Master of Business Administration (MBA), a Master of Health Administration (MHA), or a Master of Public Health.

What’s the difference between an RN and a BSN?

“Registered nurse” is a professional title that indicates that someone has passed the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN). A Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or BSN, is an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.

While a BSN is not required for licensure, a prospective RN may pursue this degree to further their education, prepare them for a career in nursing, and create a pathway to future nursing specialization (which is achieved through a master’s degree).

Can I get financial aid?

You can receive financial aid as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. Some of the various types of aid that may be available include student loans, grants, scholarships, federal work-study, employer tuition reimbursement, and more. Visit our financial aid page for information about your general financial aid options. You can also learn about institutional scholarships available at our Undergraduate On-Ground Scholarships and Grants page on our online catalog.

What type of support will I receive at WCU?

With a focus on student-centric learning, we believe in giving our students support from start to finish, and even beyond graduation. At WCU, you will be assigned to a Student Success advisor and a coordinator of clinical relations, and you will have access to no-cost tutoring. Additionally, you will work with highly engaged instructors and other faculty members whom you can call or text directly through our Remind app.

The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, master’s degree program in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate program at West Coast University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 655 K Street, Suite 750, Washington DC 20001, (202) 877-6791 (

Follow the BSN Student Experience at #WestCoastUniversity

Have Questions?

Pursuing your degree is a big choice. Fill out our form and one of our admissions advisors will contact you to answer any questions you may have!

1 American Association of Colleges of Nursing, “Employment of New Nurse Graduates and Employer Preferences for Baccalaureate-Prepared Nurses,” October 2021

2 WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment.

3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses, “What Registered Nurses Do,” Updated Sept. 8, 2022

4 Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Registered Nurses, “Work Environment,” Updated Sept. 8, 2022

*The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.