Curricula overview

The following sections describe the undergraduate curricula offered by the School of Nursing and list the courses each student must complete. Students are expected to follow the general policies of the University, the school, and specific policies of their degree curriculum. The school reserves the right to update and modify curricula content to keep current with trends in health care.

B.S. degree

The purpose of the School of Nursing's baccalaureate degree is to prepare competent clinicians who are committed to excellence in practice and to Christian principles. The faculty believe that baccalaureate education in nursing is the basis for professional practice. The curriculum leading to a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree is consistent with the faculty's belief that students should be broadly educated. The focus is on the synthesis of nursing knowledge and skills with those from the humanities and sciences. Preparation for practice includes experiences in primary and acute care—with clients from various ages, cultural groups, and socioeconomic strata.

Undergraduate curriculum sequence

The undergraduate curriculum begins with four quarters of preclinical work—which forms the general education and science base for nursing. These quarters may be completed at any regional accredited college or university. After completion of an additional eight quarters at Loma Linda University, the student is eligible to receive the B.S. degree and is prepared for professional nursing practice at the baccalaureate level. The clinical experience develops the student's technical and theoretical capabilities in a progressive manner and within the context of the nursing process.  Most of the baccalaureate nursing major is in the upper division, where clinical experience is gained in a broad variety of settings. Integral components of upper division courses are leadership concepts and skills, research, health promotion, and activities that foster collaboration in planning health care with the family and all members of the health-care team.

Learning outcomes for baccalaureate nursing

The learning outcomes of the baccalaureate nursing program are designed to prepare competent nursing professionals.

  1. Patient-centered care: Evaluate nursing care and education provided to patients, families, groups, populations, and communities across the lifespan from diverse backgrounds in a variety of settings to ensure that it is wholistic, compassionate, age and culturally appropriate; and based on a patient's background, preferences, values, and needs.
  2. Teamwork and collaboration: Collaborate with members of the interprofessional health-care team to manage and coordinate the provision of safe, quality care for patients, families, and groups.
  3. Evidence based practice: Integrate scientific information and best current evidence with clinical expertise and patient preferences when making clinical judgments in the management of patient-centered care.
  4. Quality improvement: Use quality improvement measures to evaluate the effect of change on the delivery of patient-centered care and patient outcomes.
  5. Safety: Evaluate effectiveness of strategies used to reduce the risk of harm to patients, self, and others in health-care, home, and community settings.
  6. Informatics: Use empirical and evidence-based information and patient care technology to communicate relevant patient information, manage care, and mitigate error in the provision of safe, quality, patient-centered care.
  7. Professionalism: Model integrity and accountability in practices that uphold established regulatory, legal, and ethical principles while providing standard-based nursing care.
  8. Leadership: Integrate leadership and management theories and principles into practice when managing a caseload of patients and making clinical judgments about their care.
  9. Communication: Use verbal, nonverbal, and written communication strategies that promote an effective exchange of information; development of therapeutic relationships; and  shared decision making with patients, families, groups, populations, and communities from diverse backgrounds.

Professional registration

Satisfactory completion of the California Board of Registered Nursing-required content prepares the student to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination. All states require that a nurse pass the NCLEX-RN examination for licensure to practice. California application forms and fees are submitted to the California Board of Registered Nursing, P.O. Box 944210, Sacramento, CA 94244-2100: Web site: <http://www.rn.ca.gov/>.

Four B.S. degree options

  1. Standard (generic) B.S. degree curriculum
    Students must complete all prerequisite courses prior to starting clinical courses. Occasional exception for certain prerequisites can be made.  For more specifics, consult with admissions department staff. 
  2. B.S. degree curriculum (for student with bachelor's degree in another area).  Applicants for this track must fulfill the same admission requirements and degree requirements as the standard B.S. degree.  Students entering with a nonnursing baccalaureate degree may write the NCLEX-RN after completing nursing courses required for licensure.  This allows students to write the NCLEX-RN after six quarters and prior to completing the B.S. degree.  Students who choose this option and obtain employment as an RN may be eligible to enroll in online courses in the RN to B.S. academic program.  Students with an entering G.P.A. of 3.3 or above are eligible to request the accelerated curriculum option that prepares students to write the NCLEX-RN after five quarters rather than six.  Applicants to this track should expect to carry intensive academic loads.  Students in this track must maintain a 3.0 G.P.A. each quarter.  
  3. RN to B.S. curriculum
    The returning RN may complete a baccalaureate degree in four quarters of full-time course work. Part-time study is an option. Courses are designed in the on-line format.  On-line activities will include weekly discussions and assignments designed to focus on the working environment of the RN.  The returning RN must have completed all prerequisite courses prior to acceptance into the program, must be currently working as an RN, and must meet the following noncourse requirements:
    • Current RN license
    • A.S. degree or diploma in nursing
  4. B.S. degree for the licensed vocational nurse
    Students must complete all prerequisite courses prior to starting clinical courses.

Nondegree option

The 45-quarter unit RN licensure option

A 45-quarter unit option is open to all LVNs who seek only the RN license. Since the LVN choosing this option does not meet the requirements for a degree as outlined by the school, neither a degree nor a certificate will be issued; nor will a graduation exercise be included. In addition, the student will not be eligible to wear the school pin, cap, or other insignia. An RN license obtained through this option is valid in California and may not be transferable to other states.

Prerequisite per BRN

High school diploma
Current LVN license in California (skills will need to be validated)
Completion of physiology and microbiology with a grade of C or higher
G.P.A. of at least 2.0

Academic plan
Required courses
Required courses
NRSG 217Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing6
NRSG 317Adult Health Nursing II8
NRSG 226LVN Bridge Course for Physical Assessment2
NRSG 227LVN Bridge Course for Gerontological Nursing2
NRSG 308Adult Health Nursing I #8
NRSG 420Professional Preparation2
Optional courses (to complete 45 units)
NRSG 314Obstetrical and Neonatal Nursing6
NRSG 315Child Health Nursing6
NRSG 316The Nursing Role in Health Promotion4
NRSG 408Critical Care Nursing6
NRSG 409Home Health Nursing3

This course may be challenged.


Upon completion of this course, students are credited with NRSG 214 Fundamentals of Professional Nursing (8 units), NRSG 216 Basic Nursing Skills and Health Assessment (2 units), and NRSG 309 Gerontological Nursing (2 units). 

NOTE: The student in this 45-unit RN option must maintain a G.P.A. of at least 2.0 and earn a grade of at least a C in each course throughout enrollment at Loma Linda University. A grade below a C will cause the student to be dropped from the LLU School of Nursing.

Academic residence

To qualify for an undergraduate degree from Loma Linda University, the student must take a minimum of 45 units at Loma Linda University; 32 of the units must be at the senior level. At minimum, three clinical nursing courses are required as part of these units.

Nursing courses

Nursing course grades

Most nursing courses in the undergraduate curriculum are divided into approximately equal components of theory and clinical laboratory practice. A grade for a nursing course represents a combination of the theory and the clinical laboratory grades. In order to pass a nursing course, a student must receive a grade equivalent to a C or above in both the theory and clinical laboratory sections of the course. To receive a passing grade in theory, the student must obtain a cumulative score of at least 76 percent on examinations within that course. A grade of C- or below places the student on provisional status and requires that the student repeat the course.  Enrollment in the School of Nursing will be terminated if a student receives two grades of C- or below in nursing or required cognates.

Percentage breakdown for grading

The undergraduate division of the School of Nursing uses the following percentages for computing grades:

95-100% A
92-94% A-
88-91% B+
85-87% B
82-84% B-
79-81% C+
76-78% C
71-75% C-
68-70% D+
63-67% D
Below 62% F

Clinical experiences

Clinical experiences are under the direction of the course coordinator. The student has supervised experience under a clinical instructor in the care of patients.  Tardiness or unexcused absences from class or clinical laboratory is cause for failure.  Three times of being tardy to class and/or laboratory is equal to one absence.  Absence in excess of 20 percent of course appointments (class, seminar and/or clinical) may be cause for failure.  Students must make up for absences from clinical due to extenuating circumstances (e.g., personal illness or death in the family). A fee of $200 will be charged for make-up of clinical laboratory during nonclinical time.

Nursing students are required to practice in client care settings under the supervision of a registered nurse during assigned clinical laboratory time.  Each student will be expected to be able to apply basic theoretical concepts to clinical practice by assessing, planning, and implementing nursing procedures; and evaluating the care of individuals, families, and communities. In the performance of routine nursing care, all students will function within the policies of the clinical agency and demonstrate the professional behavior outlined in the University catalog and the University Student Handbook.

Students are expected to be knowledgeable about clients and their problems and about the plans for care prior to actually giving care. They must come prepared for the clinical experience and must adequately assess a client. Students are expected to perform skills safely. Students whose performance is deemed unsafe may fail the course or be dropped from the program.

Students are responsible for their individual transportation to off-campus clinical sites.  Individual transportation does not mean arrangements to car-pool with someone.  Off-campus clinical assignments cannot be promised on the basis of the student's transportation convenience.


To be eligible to write the NCLEX-RN examination, the student must have completed all required nursing courses required for licensure.  Further, the student needs to be aware that, under the laws of California, a candidate for the examination is required to report all misdemeanors, driving citations, and felony convictions. If a candidate has a criminal history, the California Board of Registered Nursing will determine the eligibility of that individual to write the licensing examination.

Credit by examination

Challenge/equivalency examination

An undergraduate student may meet academic requirements by passing an examination at least equal in scope and difficulty to examinations in the course. Undergraduate students with prior education in nursing or in another health-care profession are eligible to challenge nursing courses required for California state licensure. The applicant's background in health-care theory and clinical experience must be commensurate with the theory and skills required for the course.

Challenge examinations in nursing courses include both a written examination covering theory and an examination of clinical competence. A fee is charged for a challenge examination. See the "Schedule of Charges" in this section for fees.

Progression to the next level in the program is permissible only after successful completion of the challenge examination at 76%. A grade of S is recorded for challenge credit earned by examination only after the student has successfully completed a minimum of 12 units of credit at this University with a G.P.A. of 2.0 or above.

Advanced placement program

Credit toward graduation may be accepted by the school for an entering student who has passed one or more Advanced Placement (AP) examinations with a score of 3, 4, or 5. Records for AP courses must be sent directly from the College Board to University Records.

For specific policy and time limits regarding CLEP examinations, see "Academic Policies" in the Section II of the CATALOG.

Military Option for Advanced Placement

Individuals who have held military health care occupations in the areas including, but not limited to Basic Medical Technician Corpsmen, Army Health Care Specialist, or Air Force Independent Duty Medical Technician may be eligible to apply for advanced placement into the 2nd quarter courses of the nursing program at Loma Linda University School of Nursing if they are able to provide verifiable education and experience required to meet the equivalency for first quarter coursework.  Interested candidates are advised to meet with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Program at least 4 weeks prior to application to review eligibility requirements.

Academic Support

In order to promote academic success in the nursing program, if a student earns a grade of "C" or "C+" in NRSG 214 Fundamentals of Professional Nursing and/or NRSG 216 Basic Nursing Skills and Health Assessment, the student will be required to:

  • Register for NRSG 244 Strategies for Academic Success (1 unit) during the second quarter and  through completion of third quarter courses.
  • Follow an individualized plan for continued involvement with the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) in subsequent quarters.  The individualized plan will be developed based on individual needs as determined by the ACE faculty mentor, course instructor(s), advisor, and student.
  • Student will be recommended to limit second quarter registration to 15 units or less, including Strategies for Academic Success.  Total length of program may then equal nine (9) units.

Repeating a course

A grade of C (2.0) is the minimum passing grade for nursing and required cognate courses. Required cognates include:  religion and nutrition. Any nursing or named cognate course taken while a student at Loma Linda University School of Nursing in which the earned grade is C- or lower must be repeated.  A nursing course or required cognate may be repeated only once. When a student repeats a course, both the original and repeat grades are entered into the student's permanent record; but only the repeat grade and credit are computed in the grade point average and included in the total units earned.

Probation status

Students whose cumulative G.P.A. at the end of any quarter is less than 2.0, or who have received a C- or below in a nursing course or named cognate, or who have withdrawn (W) due to failing are placed on academic probation. Students on probation status will be required to take NRSG 244 Skills for Academic Success and to communicate regularly with the academic advisor. Students on probation status may take only one clinical nursing course at a time and no more than 12 units. When the course work has been repeated successfully, the student is returned to regular status. Enrollment in the School of Nursing will be terminated if a student receives two grades of C- or below in nursing or required cognates. See Student Handbook for grievance procedure.

Graduation requirements

A candidate must complete the undergraduate Intent to Graduate form two quarters prior to completion of degree.

A degree will be granted when the student has met the following requirements:

  1. Completed all requirements for admission to the respective curriculum.
  2. Completed all requirements of the curriculum, including specified attendance, level of scholarship, and length of academic residence.
  3. Completed a minimum of 193.0 quarter units for the baccalaureate degree, with a minimum overall G.P.A. of 2.0.
  4. Given evidence of moral character, of due regard for Christian citizenship, and of consistent responsiveness to the established aims of the University and of the respective discipline.
  5. Discharged financial obligations to the University.

It is the responsibility of the student to see that all requirements have been met.

A student who completes the requirements for a degree at the end of the Spring or Summer Quarter is expected to be present at the University's ceremony for conferring of degrees and presentation of diplomas. Permission for the conferral of a degree in absentia is granted by the University upon recommendation of the dean of the school.

A student who completes the requirements for a degree at the end of Autumn or Winter quarter is invited, but not required, to participate in the subsequent conferring of degrees. Degrees are conferred at graduations only.

The University reserves the right to prohibit participation in commencement exercises by a candidate who has not satisfactorily complied with all requirements.

Additional requirements/Policies

For additional policies governing Loma Linda University students, see Section II of this CATALOG, as well as the University Student Handbook. Students are responsible for informing themselves of and satisfactorily meeting all regulations pertinent to registration, matriculation, and graduation.