BSN-DNP Program

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Degree program is a professional degree designed to prepare advanced practice nurses for complex practice, leadership roles in the clinical setting, and teaching roles at colleges and universities. The BSN-DNP program prepares graduates for evidence-based inquiry, leadership, health policy and advocacy, and development of high-level competencies and skills in the following five nurse practitioner clinical specialty areas: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Family Practice, Pediatric Primary Care, and Psychiatric-Mental Health Across the Life Span. Each specialty prepares the student for national certification at the completion of the program.  This program is offered in a hybrid teaching method, using both face-to-face and online teaching sessions. 




BSN-DNP Program Outline

The BSN-to-DNP program is a 72-semester unit, three-year (full-time) program that prepares graduates for leadership and clinical roles and the ability to engage in evidence-based inquiry.  The program is offered via structured 15-week hybrid synchronous and asynchronous class sessions.

The CSULB BSN-DNP hybrid program is composed of three components of study.

  1. Core courses.  There are 15 required nursing courses (39 credits) that all students must complete at CSULB.  Transfer credits for these requirements will be evaluated by the Graduate Director for equivalency.
  2. Clinical specialty courses:  There are 5 courses (24 units) required per clinical specialty.
  3. Doctoral Project:  There are 4 courses (9 units) required to complete the doctoral project.

Program Outline (15 weeks courses)

Fall Semester:


NRSG 705Social Determinants (3 credits)
NRSG 706Leadership and Roles (3 credits)
NRSG 704Health Care Economic & Policy (3 credits)
NRSG 707Humanistic Care (2 credits)


Spring Semester:

Year 1:    

NRSG 709Data Management (3 credits)
NRSG 710Advanced EBP (3 credits)
NRSG 701 Advanced Patho (3 credits)


Summer Semester:

Year 1:

NRSG 708Informatics (3 credits)
NRSG 710Proposal Writing (2 credits)


Fall Semester:

Year 2:          

NRSG 703 Advanced Physical Assessment (3 credits)
NRSG 703 LAdvanced Physical Assessment Lab (1 credit)
NRSG 702Advanced Pharmacology (3 credits)
NRSG 792An Integrative Scholarship 1 (3 credits)


Spring Semester:

Year 2          

NRSG 720/730/740/750/760Specialty Theory 1 (3 credits)
NRSG 720L/730L/740L/750L/760LClinical Practicum (8 credits)
NRSG 792B Integrative Scholarship II (1 credit)
Summer Semester:

Year 2          

NRSG 712ATheorires of Learning and Instruction in Nursing (3 credits)
NRSG 712BCurriculum Development (3 credits)


Fall Semester:

Year 3       

NRSG 721/731/741/751/761Specialty Theory II
NRSG 721L/731L/741L/751L/761LClinical Practicum II (8 credits)
NRSG 792CIntegrative Scholarship III (2 credits)


Spring Semester

Year 3

NRSG 722L/732L/742L/752L/762L Clinical Residency I (2 credits)
NRSG 795 Review Course for National Certification (1 credit)
NRSG 792DIntegrative Scholarship III (3 credits)

BSN-DNP Program


Detailed information is available in the university catalog. Some informational highlights include:

Admission Requirements:

  • A Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from a nationally accredited program with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. 
  • Hold an active, unencumbered, unrestricted current RN license in California
  • A college-level course in Statistics
  • Three letters of professional reference from faculty, colleagues, or supervisors; should be within the past year, dated, and signed. 
  • An official copy of all transcripts from all universities/colleges previously attended.
  • Submit a statement of purpose for obtaining the BSN-DNP degree/NP Specialty Certificate (no more than 1 page single spaced)
  • Applicants will be required to complete a:
  1. Interview
  2. Writing an on-site or monitored online essay assessment
  • Verification of current employment as a Registered Nurse; letter can come from your direct supervisor at your agency.  
  • Have one year of clinical experience as a Registered Nurse

Future information sessions to be announced 


*It is important that you attend ONE of our information sessions. The Graduate Director will give you a general overview of our program offerings, curriculum, and application process. At this time, you will have the opportunity to ask more in-depth questions regarding the program.


Application Process:

Students must apply to the university through Cal Apply. Students should go to and follow the appropriate prompts. 

For more information on Cal State Apply, please check the Cal State Apply Graduate Application Guide.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the following steps:

Step 1 - Apply Online to Cal State Apply

Step 2 - Submit Official Transcripts

Step 3 – Submit DNP Employment Verification Form

Step 4 - Wait for University Admissions Decision

Step 5- Receive Admission or Denial Letter

Step 6 - Register and Begin Classes

Step 7 - Attend mandatory orientation program

Graduation Requirements:

  • In addition to the required nursing courses within your program of study, a BSN-DNP-prepared nurse must complete a Doctoral Project.

The Doctoral Project is developed as the student is enrolled in four Integrative Scholarship courses. The DNP Project deals with the investigation of practice-related problems, translational research, and testing of applicability of established nursing interventions with different patient populations.  Examples of doctoral projects include quality improvement, testing of protocols to improve patient care, testing of the applicability of measurement with different patient populations. The goal of all DNP doctoral projects is to improve patient care to individuals, families, or populations.  The DNP project will be completed as a group project and takes place within the context of the four Integrative Scholarship courses of NRSG 792A, B, C, and D for a total of 9 units and

  • Complete a minimum of 1000 clinical hours.

With the demonstration of proficiency beyond what is included in university admission criteria. Students will:

Advancement to Candidacy

  1. Satisfy the general University requirements for advancement to candidacy;
  2. Approval of the School Graduate Director and Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Services

Graduation Requirements

  1. Completion of a minimum of 72 units in approved upper division, doctoral level courses;
  2. An overall GPA of 3.0 or better;
  3. Completion of a minimum of 1000 clinical hours.
  4. Completion of the Doctoral Directed Project.

BSN-DNP Program


BSN-DNP Program Application Process

Applications are processed using the online Cal State Apply system. Cal State Apply is California State University's online resource to help you quickly and easily apply for admission. Please make sure that you meet application deadlines and have your previous academic information ready. For example, you will be asked to submit information about all colleges you have attended including your community college. You will need the name of the college(s), dates attended, units completed, major, and GPA.

You do not have to complete the entire application during one session. You can save your application and revisit your application to add or change information when convenient.

Note: CSULB uses email as the official means of communication, so applicants are required to maintain a current email address on file with the university and check their email regularly. You may update your email address or check the status of your admission application by visiting the Applicant Self-Service webpage.

For more information on Cal State Apply, please check the Cal State Apply Graduate Application Guide.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the following steps:

Step 1 - Apply Online to Cal State Apply

Step 2 - Submit Official Transcripts

Step 3 - Wait for University Admissions Decision

Step 4- Receive Admission or Denial Letter

Step 5 - Register and Begin Classes

Step 6 - Attend mandatory orientation program

Transferring in graduate level coursework:

Applicants who anticipate transferring in graduate-level coursework from another university are to email a copy of the course syllabus and transcript, as well as a rationale documenting equivalency to one of the CORE classes. Applicants may only transfer up to 9 units into the DNP program.  If you request to transfer in courses, Advanced Pathophysiology, Advanced Pharmacology, or Advanced Physical Assessment with a lab, you must document your current level of competency by successfully passing a competency exam designated by the department. The cost of the exam will be incurred by the student. These courses are typically taken at CSULB to prepare you for entry to the clinical part of the program. You CANNOT transfer research courses. All evaluation of graduate coursework will be evaluated and approved for transfer credit after you have been admitted to the School of Nursing graduate program.

Transfer credit coursework requests should be sent to Graduate Coordinator at by the end of the first semester for evaluation. If you are selected into the BSN-DNP program, all approved coursework will be added to your program plan by the start of the fall semester. You will receive an email confirmation that all approved coursework has been added to your program plan.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the correct specialty is chosen. The School of Nursing cannot change the specialty indicated by the applicant on the application, nor reconsider applicants who apply incorrectly.  Students who select to change specialty will be required to cancel one application and open another one. 

Status of Application & Admission Timelines: · If you wish to check the status of your application, please go to Applicant Self Service to review your application status go to

It is the responsibility of the applicant to verify that their application is complete, and letters of recommendation are submitted - check with your recommenders and University Admissions to be sure the recommendations are submitted prior to the deadline; otherwise, your application will be incomplete and will not be considered. All documents are to be sent to Enrollment Services only. If you have any problems or questions with your application, please contact Enrollment Services at (562) 985-5471 or at CSULB Admissions or Cal State Apply Customer Support Services at 857-304-8403.

· Selected applicants will be notified via email to schedule an interview and timed writing assessment to complete the application process.

· After a scheduled interview and writing assessment, scores are evaluated, and admission decisions are made in the summer.

The School of Nursing undergraduate students advising is through the College of Health and Human Services Advising Center.

Students should refer to the advising center for planning their general education courses to meet university requirements for

Graduation.  To schedule an appointment, go to CHHS-Academic Advising.  

For any nursing course related information, you can send an email with your questions to

BSN-DNP Program


Is the program online?

The coursework is delivered in a hybrid format and some courses require practice experiences using preceptors approved by the school of nursing.

Do I need to have my RN license in California to apply for the program?

You can apply if you have an active, unencumbered, unrestricted current RN license in California or be eligible for licensure in the State of California.  You may apply to the program while your RN license in California is in progress. 

How long is the program?

If all admission criteria and prerequisites are completed, you can complete the program in 3 years of full-time study. 

When does the program start?

We plan to start the first cohort in Fall 2023. From that point forward, we will be accepting applications and starting cohorts each August.

What is the GPA requirement?

A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all bachelor’s degree in Nursing courses.

Who can I call or email if I have additional questions?

The Graduate Director and/or the Graduate Administrative Assistant should be able to answer your questions or seek out an answer to your questions.  These individuals will be your primary contact (other than your course faculty) as your progress through this program. 

Is the program hard?

Yes.  To uphold the professional standards of nursing, this program has been designed to be rigorous. You will need to devote sufficient time to prepare for class, study materials, and attend your clinical courses. 

Can this program be completed part-time?

At this time, the program was designed for full-time study.  Students can request a leave of absence if needed and will rejoin a cohort when next available.

How do I choose my clinical sites?

Your professional specialty practice preceptorship can be in your place of employment but may not be on the unit in which you work.  You may also seek out a practice experience in another area in which you would like to explore, i.e., inpatient hospice, home healthcare, clinic nursing, ICU, ER, OR, etc.  If you do not have clinical sites, the CSULB SON will work with you to facilitate clinical placements. You will work with a group of classmates to develop a project at a clinical or community site.  To assure an affiliation agreement is in place for these practice experiences, you need to help identify the locations early in the program.

How many “clinical” hours are required?

There are a minimum of 1000 hours of clinical specialty experience that is required.  These are specified in the BSN-DNP Program Handbook as you do need to start to develop plans early in your program of study.