Story Nursing

CSU Campuses Partner with Local Community College to Streamline Nursing Pathway

Christianne Salvador


​Photo courtesy of CSU Fullerton


​​​​​As the demand for more registered nurses continues to grow, CSU campuses are partnering with a local community college to offset the shortage.

California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and California State University San Bernardino (CSUSB) have each signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Riverside City College (RCC) to create pathways to a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN).

The agreement established a dual-enrollment program between RCC and CSUF or CSUSB, allowing community college students who are working to earn their associate degree in nursing (ADN) to concurrently earn a BSN from one of the two CSU campuses.

“Inland Southern California is experiencing a surge in its economy and population as the region veers into a public health crisis. We need to ensure we have the healthcare infrastructure in place to meet the looming needs," said Sen. Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside). “This innovative pilot program addresses that need by driving more bachelor's degree nurses into medically underserved regions like Inland Southern California, delivering health care where it is needed most."

Every year, CSU campuses prepare 60 percent of the state's baccalaureate prepared nurses, including conferring more than 3,200 nursing degrees in 2017-18. But despite robust programs on 18 CSU campuses, California has the highest deficit of registered nurses in the nation. The new pathway is established to counteract the shortage by removing unnecessary time and costs for ADN nursing students to complete their degree and become workforce-ready.

Students will begin the program at RCC as they take prerequisite and general education classes. They then enroll concurrently into both RCC and one of the CSU nursing programs to complete the ADN. Their final semester will be completed at CSUF or CSUSB, resulting in a BSN.

Concurrent enrollment to the ADN-to-BSN program will launch in fall 2019. The program could serve as a model for other CSU campuses to adapt, enabling more students to earn a BSN in a direct and streamlined manner.

“The CSUF and CSUSB nursing faculty are confident that the success of this model will promote the state-wide adoption of the ADN-to-BSN collaborative program," says Margaret Brady, Ph.D., professor of nursing at CSU Long Beach and coordinator of the ADN-to-BSN program. “Investment in this program will sow the seeds for more students to become RNs and mitigate the nurse deficiency throughout California."

The ADN-to-BSN program advances the CSU's efforts in meeting Graduation Initiative 2025 goals of graduating more students in a timely manner. Collaboration between RCC and each of the CSUs removes barriers associated with transferring while providing students high-quality education to prepare for their future in nursing.

The MOUs also established procedures for program governance, admission procedures, operation of student financial aid, as well as sharing of classroom and other resources, such as simulation labs and libraries.