Bachelor of Science for RNs

This is an archived copy of the 2016-2017 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit Any changes will appear on our errata page.

The RN-BSN program is designed for RNs with an associate degree or diploma in nursing who are interested in obtaining a baccalaureate nursing degree. The curriculum allows credit for some previous course work and has flexible scheduling to accommodate the practicing nurse. Students have the option to study part-time or full-time. If a student meets University general education and other degree requirements, it is possible to complete the course of study in one to one and a half years through full-time study.

Admission/Application Information

  • Spring entry only. The application period is during the month of August. Specific dates and application process guidance will be posted on the School of Nursing website.
  • Both School of Nursing and University applications must be submitted for those who are not already SF State students.
  • RNs may receive credit for previous nursing education.
  • The maximum number of transferable units is 70.

Criteria for Admission

  • Eligible for undergraduate admission to the University.
  • Successful completion of an accredited associate degree or diploma in nursing.
  • Licensure as an RN in the State of California prior to enrollment.
  • A nursing prerequisite GPA of 3.0 or higher at the time of the School of Nursing supplemental application.
  • All nursing prerequisites completed with a minimum grade of C.

Prerequisite Courses — 28 units

The courses listed below or those which are comparable as listed on are required for acceptance into the major.

BIOL 210
BIOL 211
General Microbiology and Public Health
and General Microbiology and Public Health Laboratory
BIOL 220Principles of Human Anatomy 14
or BIOL 328 Human Anatomy
BIOL 212
BIOL 213
Principles of Human Physiology
and Principles of Human Physiology Laboratory
CHEM 101
CHEM 102
Survey of Chemistry
and Survey of Chemistry Laboratory
COMM 150Fundamentals of Oral Communication3
ENG 114First Year Composition (Written Communiation I)3
MATH 124Elementary Statistics (quantitative reasoning)3
PHIL 110Introduction to Critical Thinking I3

 Either anatomy course must include a laboratory component if taken elsewhere.

Nursing GWAR Course Information

All undergraduate nursing students must have completed ENG 214 or an equivalent course prior to enrolling in NURS 312GW during semester one of the nursing major.

The RN to BSN Course of Study — 41 units

The RN-BSN program is for junior transfer students only. Applicants to the program have satisfied a minimum of 60 semester units, including all lower division GE requirements. Applicants have also completed all required nursing pre-licensure courses. This roadmap reflects only those courses that students take in residence at San Francisco State University. Students accepted into the program receive 20 units of upper division nursing credit for successfully passing the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterUnits
NURS 300 Bridge to Professional Nursing 3
NURS 312GW Research and Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing - GWAR (also satisfies the University Written English Proficiency requirements) 3
NURS 522 Chronic Care and End of Life Care Theory 3
Upper Division General Education 3
Second Semester
NURS 530 Community Health and Global Perspectives Theory 3
NURS 531 Community Health and Global Perspectives Practicum 3
Upper Division General Education 3
Third Semester
NURS 558 Professional Practice Concepts Theory 3
NURS 559 Professional Practice Concepts Practicum 3
Upper Division General Education 3
 Total Units30

Students completing the RN-BSN program will achieve the School of Nursing’s BSN Expected Student Learning Outcomes as outlined below:

  • Recognize the patient or designee as the source of control and full partner in providing compassionate and coordinated care based on respect for patient's preferences, values, and needs.
  • Function effectively within nursing and inter-professional teams, fostering open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making to achieve quality patient care.
  • Integrate best current evidence with clinical expertise and patient/family preferences and values for delivery of optimal health care.
  • Use data to monitor the outcomes of care processes and use improvement methods to design and test changes to continuously improve the quality and safety of health care systems.
  • Minimizes risk of harm to patients and providers through both system effectiveness and individual performance.
  • Use information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision-making.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication I LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Written English Communication II LD 3 A4
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Humanities: Literature LD 3 C3
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Social Sciences: US & CA Governement LD 3 D3
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD or UD 3 E
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), in a major or minor, or may be an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities (AERM) LD or UD 3
Environmental Sustainability (ES) LD or UD 3
Global Perspectives (GP) LD or UD 3
Social Justice (SJ) LD or UD 3

Note: LD = lower division; UD = upper division.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California government
    • a 2nd-semester course in written English composition

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), go to Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower division major requirements for this major
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 units/90 quarters required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper division transfer (for example, if course was not passed on first attempt, or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California community college of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower division general education in areas C and D until after transfer in order to focus on preparation courses for the major. (This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.)

Transferring from institutions other than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower division General Education requirements. As described above, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3 and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (GE A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. Review more information about the A3 requirement here.

Identify and complete a 2nd-semester written English composition course before transfer. This is usually the next course after the typical “freshman comp” course, with a focus on writing, reading and critical analytical skills for academic purposes, and developing skills in composing, revising, and the use of rhetorical strategies.

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.

All students must meet the transfer eligibility requirements outlines below for admission. For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.

  • Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units
  • Earn a college grade point average of 2.00 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
  • Be in good standing at the last college or university attended
  • Complete 30 semester units (45 quarter units) of general education, including four basic skills courses:
    1. One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE area A1)
    2. One course in written composition (same as CSU GE area A2)
    3. One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE area A3)
    4. One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite (same as CSU GE area B4)
  • The four basic skills courses and minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90 quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a "C" or better grade in each basic skills course.