CSUSM Cal State San Marcos Accelerated Nursing ABSN Program and Admissions

From anecdotal evidence, this is one of the less competitive accelerated bachelor’s in nursing programs in California although that is expected to change very shortly. Much of that is due to the newness of the program. For 2011-2012, the program will accept 1 cohort in San Marcos (spring) and 2 cohorts in Temecula (1 in fall, 1 in spring). Both locations are in the northern part of the San Diego region of California. Because most¬† CSU schools outside of accelerated BSN programs do not allow second baccalaureate students due to difficulties in the California state budget, those with degrees are limited to programs that are on non-subsidized self-support.

About the CSU San Marcos ABSN Program

This is a fast paced 24 month second bachelor’s degree program designed for students who hold a bachelors’ degree outside of nursing with no LVN or RN coursework.¬† Students will complete 78 semesters worth of clinical and didactic coursework. The completion of this accelerated BS in Nursing will make the student eligible to sit for the NCLEX exam for RN licensure.

CSUSM ABSN Admissions – Prerequisite Courses – Pre Nursing Core

Keep in mind that no online science lab courses are accepted unless taken at Extended Studies at CSU San Marcos. All science courses must include lab. Courses may be taken at any accredited university.

  • 1 year of Anatomy and Physiology (can be 1 semester anatomy and 1 semester physiology as well)
  • 1 semester of Microbiology
  • 1 year of organic and biochemistry for life science with lab
  • 1 semester of any CSU Mathematics course eligible for satisfying the B4 requirement.
  • 1 semester of oral communication
  • 1 semester of written communication
  • 1 semester of critical thinking (eg. English, math, philosophy)


Cal State San Marcos ABSN Costs and Fees

The fees for Fall 2010 are $365 per lecture unit and $465 per lab/clinical unit. There are additional fees as well including $750 in textbook and software per term. Financial aid is available for students in second bachelor’s degree programs. All students should submit a FAFSA by march 2 for priority consideration with maximum funding options. CSUSM FAFSA code is 030113.

It is not possible to work during this program. During the clinical phase of the nursing program, students sometimes start at 7am and don’t return home until 11pm.

CSUSM ABSN Admissions Point System

After taking all of the admissions prerequisite courses, you are ranked with your completed application according to the following scale.

  • Pre-Nursing Core Cumulative GPA 25 points (48% of points)
  • Cumulative GPA of the last 60 units of undergraduate coursework 12 points (23% of points)
  • Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) composite score 15 points (29% of points)

Maximum number of points is 52. Just to give you an idea of what the scale looks like. A pre-nursing core GPA of 3.00 will result in just 5 points. If your GPA was 3.71, you would have 20 points. On both scales, a 3.30 to 3.40 GPA will get you about half of the points.

For this nursing program, your pre-nursing GPA really matters. A 3.6 GPA is a lot better than a 3.1 GPA. Also, the TEAS test is very important. You should try to score above 90% if possible. Remember that your pre-nursing grades factor into 71% of the points formula above if taken during the last 60 units of work.

NCLEX Pass Rate for CSUSM Cal State San Marcos Accelerated Nursing ABSN

According to the Board of Registered Nursing, CSUSM has a 80.65% NCLEX pass rate which is almost 15% lower than the previous year’s 95.35%. This may have to do with the fact that the accelerated program had just recently started and its first cohort has attempted the NCLEX exam. Students may want to factor that in, or assume that the accelerated program will improve with future cohorts.