Why Nursing?

Nursing’s contribution to the well being of society is crucial, and the demand for baccalaureate-prepared nurses is growing worldwide. Nurses prepared to help others achieve good health outcomes are in constant demand. Nursing plays an ever-expanding role as changes occur in care delivery, and offers the well-educated individual opportunities for a rewarding professional career. Nursing provides professional mobility, as well as a wide choice of work environments and types of service.

Professional nursing is both science and art, requiring intellectual discipline, psychomotor skills, personal integrity, accountability and emotional maturity. As a science, nursing emphasizes the ability to define and address problems through evidence-based practice and critical inquiry. As a science and an art, nursing is a care-giving process based in scientific knowledge and technology, shaped by developments in health care delivery systems, and the values, needs and lifestyles of the people it serves. The bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) prepares the individual to sit for registered nurse licensure for generalist professional roles, and enables the successful graduate to enter graduate study for specialization.

Why Nursing at PLU?

The School of Nursing at Pacific Lutheran University is a professional school that combines nursing science with a strong foundation in the natural sciences and liberal arts. This selective program prepares undergraduate students as skilled generalists so they may later seek advanced practice in specific specialties. The program provides an excellent foundation for clinical practice, as well as for preparing qualified graduates to enter the best graduate programs in nursing.

The school exemplifies the university’s mission of “educating for lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and care” in an environment that encourages lifelong learning, diversity and spirituality as vital elements in the human quest for wholeness. The school recognizes that the spiritual, physical, mental and social health of people is of universal concern. Its educational programs employ dynamic learning opportunities in multiple clinical arenas as well as laboratories and classrooms. The program also responds to the educational and technological learning needs of practicing nurses seeking continuing education — from short courses and seminars to the PLU MSN — to remain current, competent practitioners and/or to revise their practice focus.

The nursing faculty and administration are committed to teaching excellence, clinical competence and scholarly inquiry. They hold advanced degrees and many faculty members hold certification for advanced practice, including clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, and in specialty areas such as family and community nursing, community health nursing, and gerontology. Some faculty members are certified in multiple areas. As a whole, the nursing faculty and administration represent over 700 years of successful professional nursing and academic experience.

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The School of Nursing is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and is approved by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. The baccalaureate degree in nursing and the master’s degree in nursing at Pacific Lutheran University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org). The Care and Outcomes Manager curriculum meets the requirements for several national certification examinations, including Clinical Nurse Leader and nurse educator.

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Features of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program

The BSN for the Traditional Student

The traditional BSN program is designed for students with no previous preparation in nursing and requires a total of four academic years, one in the completion of prerequisite courses and three in nursing courses. The school collaborates with more than 100 health agencies to provide optimal clinical learning experiences for its students, under the supervision of its faculty members. Freshman entry and transfer options are available.

Graduates are awarded the bachelor of science in nursing degree and are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN for licensure as registered nurses. They are prepared for first-level staff nursing positions in hospitals, clinics, the military, long-term care facilities and community health agencies, with potential for rapid advancement and assumption of leadership roles. They also have the foundation for graduate study in nursing.

The BSN for the licensed practical nurse

The LPN to BSN course of study is designed to provide career mobility for the licensed practical nurse desiring the bachelor of science in nursing degree. The program allows students the opportunity to validate prior knowledge and clinical competence, enabling progression through the BSN curriculum within five semesters, following completion of prerequisite and core courses.

Admission to the School of Nursing

The School’s Recruitment, Admission and Progression Committee reviews all application materials. Admission to the School of Nursing is competitive, and entry into the three-year (six-semester) major is based on multiple criteria. Students are admitted in the fall or spring semester each year.

Two modes of application to the nursing program are offered:

  • Simultaneous Freshman Admission to PLU and Nursing. Highly qualified high school seniors may be considered for conditional admission to the nursing major based on their application to the university, which is reviewed by both the university and nursing admission committees; contact the Office of Admission (253-535-7151) for details, criteria and deadlines. Or, click here.
  • Direct Application to the School of Nursing. College students seeking admission to the nursing major must submit separate applications to the university (if not currently enrolled at PLU) and to the School of Nursing. This mode of application applies to transfer students, LPN to BSN applicants, and to currently-enrolled PLU students of all levels who did not seek or were not offered simultaneous freshman admission to PLU and nursing. The application to the nursing program should be requested directly from the School of Nursing.

Persons making direct application to the School of Nursing must meet the following criteria. The requirements listed below are minimum standards; therefore, fulfillment of these standards does not imply nor guarantee admission to any PLU nursing program at any time.

Minimum criteria to be considered for admission to the undergraduate program (BSN) for students submitting a direct application to the nursing program include:

  • Formal unrestricted admission to Pacific Lutheran University;
  • Completion, or pending completion, of specified prerequisite coursework;
  • Completion, or pending completion, of at least 30 semester credits (45 quarter credits) at the college level;
  • Minimum cumulative college grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale;
  • A minimum grade of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale in each nursing prerequisite course;
  • Minimum cumulative GPA in prerequisites of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale;
  • No more than one repeat of any prerequisite or co-requisite course;
  • Completion of the university math entrance requirement, with a grade of “B-” or higher (2.5 or higher, on a 4.0 scale);
  • Physical health and emotional stability sufficient to meet the demands of nursing and provide timely, safe patient care for all generalist nursing roles;
  • Documented fluency in speaking, reading and writing college-level English;
  • Civil, administrative and criminal history clearance in all states, as well as other applicable territories and countries;
  • Submission of all documents to the School of Nursing by the designated deadlines.