RN to BSN, Bridge Program

ContentsNursing student, Vanessa Brewer, at bedside

The instructors for the RN to BSN program were well-seasoned nurses that embedded invaluable personal experience into their lectures which really enriched my learning experience. They also treated the RN to BSN students with a notable amount of respect that made me feel welcomed and almost like a young colleague. They were very understanding that most of us are working nurses and really made the program feel doable."
- Nursing Student, 2019

About the RN to BSN Program

The RN to BSN Post-Licensure program is designed for students that have completed an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program and are interested in obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (BSN). Current California RN’s or students that will earn a California RN license by the end of the first semester of the program may apply. If a student meets University General Education (GE) and nursing degree requirements, the program can be completed in three (3) semesters. The university provides credit for previous coursework and twenty (20) units for passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Curriculum includes limited in-person and off-campus community experiences and online theory courses that incorporate research, leadership and critical thinking skills. After completion of community health and earning the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, students are eligible to apply for a California Public Health Nursing Certificate.

Overview of the Program

  • Open to students that already have a California RN license and an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or students that have an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and will earn a California RN license by the end of the first semester in the program
  • Can be completed in three (3) semesters/fifteen (15) months
  • Majority online program, designed to be manageable with a work schedule
  • Community Health Clinical requires in-person attendance
  • Graduates are eligible for Public Health Nursing certification in California

The Registered Nurse to Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing at San Jose State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation). This program is also approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses (http://www.rn.ca.gov/).


To be admitted to the program, there is a dual admission process:

  1. Apply to the university 
  2. Complete all university transfer requirements. Transfer students must have a 2.75 minimum GPA in all college coursework. 
  3. Prior baccalaureate students must have a 2.5 minimum GPA in the last 60 units and be CSU eligible.
  4. Complete university application through CalState Apply by deadline (requires a fee).
  5. Apply to the nursing program
  6. Complete nursing prerequisite courses
  7. Complete nursing program application through NursingCAS by deadline (requires a fee).

Eligibility and Prerequisites

  • Associate's Degree in Nursing
  • Valid California RN License, or will earn a California RN license by the end of the first semester in the program 
  • All prior college coursework must meet a minimum GPA of 2.75
  • Complete all university transfer requirements. Post baccalaureate students must have a 2.5 minimum GPA in the last 60 units.
  • Must receive a "C" minimum in all prerequisite nursing courses

Prerequisite Courses

  • Public Speaking/Oral Communication (3 units)
  • CSU GE Area A3 Critical Thinking Course (3 units)
  • Statistics (3 units)
  • General Chemistry (3 units-any chemistry course will satisfy the requirement)

Courses can be IN PROGRESS when applying to the program.

The university requires that the four basic skills courses and 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the end of the spring term to be eligible for fall admission. To be eligible for spring admission, you must meet all admission requirements by the end of the summer term. You must earn a “C” or higher grade in each basic skills course. For more information, please visit the Transfer Admission Requirements website.

Applicants can check for course equivalencies for California public colleges and universities through the university’s articulation website. Another resource is Assist.org.

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Application Procedures and Deadlines

University application on CalState Apply

  • Transfer students- select the major: Nursing-RN
  • Postbaccalaureate students- first select Seeking Second Bachelor's degree in your extended profile. Then, select the major: Nursing-RN

The application will ask the following question: "Do you currently have a registered nurse license or will you have your license by the end of the semester that you are applying for?" Please answer "Yes"

If you cannot answer "Yes", then you may be looking for the Pre-Licensure BSN program. For more information, please visit the BSN program website.

Once you have applied, you will receive further correspondence from the Admissions office. Please follow these steps to ensure you complete all of the admission requirements.

University Application Deadlines

  • Applying for Spring 2022: application opens August 1- 31, 2021 
  • Applying for Fall 2022: application opens October 1- November 30, 2021

Nursing Application on NursingCAS

Transcripts: Official transcripts must be sent directly to NursingCAS. Instructions can be found on their website. Transcripts must be requested by the application deadline. Please note these transcripts are not shared with the university. 

Nursing Application Deadlines

  • Applying for Spring 2022: application opens late August 2021, date TBD
  • Applying for Fall 2022: application opens December 2021, date TBD

Acceptance to the Program

Acceptance notifications from the university and the nursing department are sent separately and at different times.

The nursing department will notify applicants by email. 

  • Spring 2022: Late November
  • Fall 2022: Late April

Acceptance into the nursing program is conditional until an applicant completes and clears a drug screening and Health Statement clearance process (fee required). NOTE: These are drug screening requirements that are consistent with the California Board of Nursing guidelines for safe nursing practices. Applicants must also be admitted to the university; being accepted by one office doesn't equate to being admissible from the other. There is a non-refundable fee for the New Student Workshop.

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The tuition and campus fees for a full-time undergraduate student are $3,926 per semester (as of fall 2021). 

Other additional program related costs include textbooks, uniforms, equipment, and learning materials.

There are various scholarships available for RN to BSN students.

Degree Requirements

Program Learning Outcomes

The goal of the RN to BSN program is to prepare students in professional nursing practice to work as staff nurses, to be well-equipped to adapt to changing healthcare needs and environments, and to serve society through civic engagement and lifelong learning. The expected Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) were developed based on the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Nursing Practice (2008) [pdf] [pdf].

Curriculum & Degree Requirements

Degree requirements can be found in the university’s catalog.
Prior baccalaureate students are exempt from completing the SJSU studies areas R & V requirement for graduation (students complete areas S and Z in nursing program). 

Curriculum and Road Maps:

LVN 30-Unit Option

The Valley Foundation School of Nursing admits licensed vocational nurses (LVN) for the 30-unit option on a space available basis. Successful completion of the 30-unit option allows LVNs to sit for the California NCLEX licensing exam to work as a licensed RN. The 30-unit option does not culminate in a Baccalaureate degree nor does the RN license permit you to work in any other state except California. 

IMPORTANT: Due to impaction, space is currently unavailable for this option. 


It is highly recommended prospective students attend a future student advising session to prepare for the application process. Please refer to the links below for additional information.

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Student Resources

Prospective Students

Current RN to BSN Students

Public Health Nurse Certification

Graduates of the RN to BSN are eligible to apply for Public Health Nurse Certification upon graduating from the university. Please refer to the instructions to apply.

  • https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jcZ3u8AWphkaCIAvKLavDC0983gP9TAJ5ai4EUpkcFA/edit?usp=sharing

General SJSU Student Resources

Announcements & Current Events

ADN to BS in Nursing, Pathway 

The ADN-BSN Pathway Program is a collaborative model for academic progression in Nursing that links SJSU with designated California Community College (CCC) partners. This enables a significant increase to access and the capacity to advance more BSN-prepared RNs into the nursing workforce. 

  • De Anza College (coming soon)
  • Mission College (coming soon) 


Still have questions? Please complete this form.

You can also contact the program coordinator:

April Wood, MS, DNP
Assistant Professor
Phone: (408) 924-8627
E-mail: april.wood@sjsu.edu