BSN Curriculum Change Statement

Starting Fall 2021, our Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) will change from a 3-year (6 semester) program to a 2-year (4-semester) program. This exciting transition is the result of an in-depth review of nursing education best-practices, research, workforce data, and more. The result will be an enhanced, streamlined curriculum designed to meet the needs of our nursing students and their future healthcare employers.

What does this mean for our students?

  • The quality of our programs will remain unchanged. Our professional and educational standards, our innovative responses to changing health care markets, and our distinguished history of educating students for lives of service will always be the foundation of our programs. Overall program learning outcomes remain unchanged and are integrated into our new competency-based curriculum.
  • The semester you intend to begin the nursing program may change if you have already been admitted. Candidates admitted to the Spring 2021 cohort will be deferred to the Fall 2021 start, and are expected to graduate May 2023, one semester sooner than with the 3-year curriculum.
  • Current PLU students will now apply for Nursing program admission the Spring of their sophomore year and start the program as a Junior. This allows students to complete their general education requirements prior to their program start, add and complete a minor in another subject area, and Study Away for a full semester and/or J-Term.
  • There will be no Nursing classes during J-Term or summer.
  • Fewer credits (64 vs 70) and less time in the Nursing program. This reduces long-term tuition costs for transfer students and First Year students with Advanced Standing.
  • Increased simulation hours for advanced clinical learning. Our new state-of-the-art lab will help students become fluent in both the technology and leadership needed to address the complex and rapidly changing healthcare environment.
  • Over 600 on-site clinical hours. Our Nursing students will continue to have precepted clinical immersion during their final semester in the program.
  • Minor changes to the prerequisites with only one additional course. A 1-credit Nutrition course will be added to the current prerequisite requirements (Anatomy & Physiology I and II, General Psychology, and Chemistry of Life); and all current corequisite courses (Microbiology, Statistics, and Developmental Psychology) are now prerequisites, meaning these courses must be complete prior to the start of the Nursing program, if admitted.

View our updated curriculum here. 

For additional information, please review our FAQs:

What if I’ve already been admitted to the Spring 2021 cohort?

  • You will be able to start the new 2-year program in Fall 2021. No new or additional application is needed; we will defer all Spring 2021 admitted students to this cohort.
    • Transfer students admitted to this cohort without a Nutrition course will have a 1-credit online option in Fall 2021.
    • PLU students will take a Nutrition course in Spring 2021. Work with your academic advisor this Fall on a revised academic plan.
  • Current PLU students will complete remaining nursing prerequisites, including a 1-credit Nutrition course, and general education courses in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021, prior to entering the nursing program in Fall 2021.

What if I’ve already been accepted to the Fall 2021 cohort as a conditional freshman?

You will begin the 2-year nursing program in Fall 2022, assuming you have met your conditional admission terms. Talk with your advisor this Fall about other possible options.

What if I’ve already been admitted to the Spring 2022 cohort as a conditional freshman?

You will begin the 2-year nursing program in Spring 2023, assuming you have met your conditional admission terms. Talk with your advisor this Fall about other possible options.

I plan to enter PLU as a pre-nursing student but do not have conditional admission. What is my application plan?

You will apply to the program in your sophomore year for entry into the 2-year program either Fall or Spring of your junior year.

I am coming to PLU as a first-year student, but I already have an Associate’s Degree and most or all my prerequisites complete. Do I still need to wait until my sophomore year to apply?

No. If you are coming to PLU with most or all of the prerequisites completed, you may apply during your first year at PLU for admission into the nursing program in Fall or Spring of your second year. If you are already conditionally-admitted, talk with your academic advisor this Fall for more information on your options.

I plan to apply as a transfer student next year. What do I need to know?

All prerequisites (including the added Nutrition course and all formerly categorized ‘corequisites’) must be complete before your start in the Nursing program, if admitted. You will complete your Nursing program in 4 semesters instead of 6.

I am a transfer applicant on the waitlist for Spring 2021. What are my options?

You are now on a waitlist to join the Fall 2020 cohort. For consideration for admission to the Fall 2021 or Spring 2022 cohorts, you must re-apply next year, using our priority deadline of February 1, 2021.

How many seats will be available in the new program?

The size of our cohorts will not change; we will admit 48 for each fall semester and 48 each spring semester.

How will my financial aid be affected?

Please contact the Office of Financial Student Services ( for more information on your financial aid.

What prompted this change?

The School of Nursing reviewed the BSN program, in relation to American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) BSN essentials, Washington Administrative Code (WAC), Quality and Safety Education in Nursing (QSEN) competencies, current and projected workforce data, and competitor programs. This review identified the need to revise and update a BSN curriculum that has been in place for 20 years.