Department of Nursing (RN-BSN)

Department website:

Mission: The Vanguard University Nursing Department is committed to providing quality undergraduate and graduate nursing programs that promote academic excellence while integrating the values of Truth, Virtue, and Service. In doing so, we strive to be a center of excellence in Christian nursing education.

The RN to BSN program combines innovative curriculum, interdisciplinary teaching, and collaborative partnerships in a values-based baccalaureate program. The two-year course of study promotes critical inquiry, enhances the nurse’s skill set, and prepares the nurse for leadership roles in the healthcare environment.  This two-year program can also be completed within 12-18 months with a specialized academic plan.

University Admission Requirements for Professional Studies and Non-Traditional Education Programs

See Admissions Information page for additional information on admissions in to the Professional Studies and Non-Traditional Education Programs.

Program Requirements for Admission

In addition the University Admission Requirements in to the Professional Studies Program, the following are required for admission in to the RN-BSN program.

  • Preferred overall 3.0 GPA (out of 4.0) – official transcripts required for verification
  • Minimum grade of “C” (2.0) on all degree requirements course work
  • Minimum grade of “C” (2.0)  on all nursing coursework, preferred GPA of 3.0
  • One professional letter of reference from a manager, supervisor, or faculty. Letters of reference from family members are not accepted.
  • Applicant’s typed statement of purpose
  • Personal interview
  • Verification of valid California RN License or eligibility for licensure. License must be current and clear.
  • Verification of current certification in CPR
  • One year work experience recommended
  • Background check (contracted by the university)

RN to BSN Online Option

The RN to BSN online program is designed to meet the needs of the student who prefers to take courses in an online format.  This program allows students to take advantage of the convenience of online learning without sacrificing the quality of instruction or professor-student and student-student interaction. Online courses cover the same content as in the residential program but provide for additional flexibility in scheduling.

Dual Enrollment RN to BSN Option 

The Dual Enrollment RN to BSN option is designed for students enrolled in a Community College who would like to begin working on their BSN while studying to obtain their RN license. All RN to BSN admission and curriculum requirements are applicable to the dual enrollment applicant except for RN licensure at admission. Verification of valid California RN licensure is required prior to NURS-420 Community Health Nurs/Clinical Studies.

New Program - Nurse Educator RN to MSN Program

A RN to MSN option, with a clinical focus on the Nurse Educator role, is being planned and may be available in Fall 2021. The first year of the program focuses on the completion of BSN courses; year two and three are focused on MSN coursework including a capstone project. An MSN will be awarded upon successful completion of the program. Please contact Admissions if you are interested in applying to the program. You may apply online OR email OR call us at 714.668.6130 to speak to schedule an appointment to take the next step!

Using Education and Training Benefits for Dual Enrollment

Students who wish to use their education and training benefits from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs at a secondary institution of higher learning (e.g. Community College), must contact the School Certifying Official to request a "Letter of Authorization" prior to enrolling in courses as the second institution. The School Certifying Official will work closely with the university's Academic Transfer Analyst and Academic Program Chair to verify that the course(s) of interest can be applied toward the academic degree program and will be accepted by Vanguard University.  

Community Health Practicum

  • Evidence of all required immunizations/titers, screenings, malpractice insurance, and physical exam report will be required prior enrolling in NURS 420 Community Health Nursing.  This will occur during the last semester of the program.

General Education Degree Requirements (40 Units)

English Composition 3 units

Humanities/Fine Arts 6 units

              Communications (3)

              Humanities (3)

Science with lab 16 units

              Human Anatomy (4)

              Physiology/Human Biology (4)

              Microbiology (4)

              Chemistry (4)

Statistics 3 units

Philosophy/Religion 3 units

Social Sciences 9 units

              Psychology (3)

              Sociology (3)

              Elective (3)

Total General Education Units 40 units

  1. Critical Thinking/Clinical Reasoning/Clinical Judgment:  Use a systematic approach in assessing, planning, testing, and evaluating innovative and evidence-based solutions to patient care problems across a variety of healthcare settings. 
  2. Integration of Faith and Learning:  Develop and articulate an understanding of a Biblical worldview in integrating values of truth, virtue, and service in personal and professional life and in providing Christ-centered leadership and service.  
  3. Ethical Practice: Demonstrate behaviors that integrate altruism, autonomy, integrity, social justice, and respect for diversity and human dignity across the lifespan. 
  4. Holistic Living:  Demonstrate responsibility and accountability for self and nursing practice, engagement in life-long learning, and ongoing professional growth. 
  5. Communication:  Use communication theories and techniques to promote communication and collaborative relationships with intra-professional healthcare team members, individuals, families, groups, and communities.
  6. Professional Excellence:  Use a problem-solving approach in evaluating patient health status and in advocating for the patient and family, anticipating and reducing risk, and improving health outcomes.
  7. Cultural Competency and Citizenship:  Apply cultural competence theory in the care of diverse individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations across the lifespan and across the continuum of healthcare environments.
  8. Information and Technology Competency:  Demonstrate technology skills in locating, retrieving, applying, and evaluating the integrity of information while using information responsibly and ethically. 
  9. Leadership and Patient Safety:  Apply leadership concepts, skills, decision making, and problem solving in the provision and oversight of nursing practice, and in advocating for equitable health care. 

NOTE :: Academic Courses for the RN-BSN program can be found in course level numbers 100, 200, 300, and 400.

NURS-235  Statistics for Health Professn  3 Credits  

Limited to those enrolled in Health Sciences. Meets statistics prerequisite for NURS 405. This course introduces the conceptual background of statistical techniques and reasoning with an emphasis on application relevant to identifying outcomes. Provides a framework for understanding and applying commonly used data analysis techniques in health science research. Includes selecting, applying, and interpreting univariate and bivariate statistical methods in answering research questions from a health science perspective.

NURS-305  Nursing Theory/Profesnl Pract  3 Credits  

This course assists students with their transition into the role of a professional BSN prepared nurse. Special emphasis will be placed on the philosophy of baccalaureate nursing education and critical thinking skills. Discussion and comparison of concepts will be applied to the practice of professional nursing. Integration of theory into subsequent course work and professional practice will be explored. This course is offered seated and online.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall and Spring.

NURS-310  Information Tech in Nursing  3 Credits  

Students will be introduced to computer applications in nursing and health care. They will develop computer literacy skills in the areas of information processing, computer technology, and issues related to privacy and confidentiality. Students are expected to share their findings with class members in presentation format. Computer laboratory experience will include an investigation of computer applications within nursing, focusing specifically on their use in nursing administration, research, clinical practice and education. This course is offered seated and online.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, and Summer.

NURS-316  Writing/Critical Analysis/Health-Related  3 Credits  

In this course, students engage in critical thinking and research writing relevant to learning and practice in nursing. The class emphasizes scholarly reading, analytical skills, writing, revising and editing, collaborative learning and the use of digital media in the research of health-related topics. Proper APA format will be emphasized and required for all written work.

NURS-320  Ethical Iss/Leg Aspects/Nurs  3 Credits  

This course introduces students to the analysis of ethical issues and dilemmas arising in nursing practice and healthcare systems. Emphasis is placed on values clarification, models for ethical decision making, consideration of relevant legal aspects, and related documents such as the Nursing Code of Ethics that guide professional practice. Woven throughout the ethical discussions is reference to the importance of Christian values and a Christian worldview in identifying and solving ethical issues that arise out of the practice of nursing. This course is offered in seated and online formats.

NURS-327  Health Assessment  3 Credits  

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with the opportunity to be equipped with skills necessary to do a multi-dimensional health assessment of their identified client. Emphasis is placed on the concepts of bio-psycho-social, spiritual, cultural, and community health care needs in performing the holistic examination of the individual. Additional emphasis will include the client's health care needs, levels of prevention and growth and development of the individual across the lifespan. This course is offered in seated and online formats.

NURS-405  Nursing Research and Seminar  3 Credits  

This course explores the historical, philosophical, and ethical aspects of nursing research. The relationship between nursing research and professional accountability is explored. An emphasis is placed on the principles and methods of research process with emphasis on evaluating research to determine significance and applicability to nursing practice. Students will apply concepts to a research project. This course is offered in seated and online formats.


NURS-410  Principles of Pathophysiology  4 Credits  

This course presents knowledge of pathophysiology, using a systems approach, as applied to current nursing practice. Selected major health problems, their pathophysiology and medical treatment are discussed. Topics from various scientific and clinical areas will be explored and coordinated with other courses in the nursing program. This course is offered in seated and online formats.

NURS-411  Spirituality/Care/Professional Nursing  1 Credit  

Students are guided in an examination of patient-centered spiritual care amongst diverse healthcare populations. Evidence-based spiritual care delivery from a Christian worldview and the integration of faith and practice as an essential component of nursing excellence is explored. Personal and professional development of the nurse, including moral courage is examined, as well as the effect of this on patient care outcomes. The implementation of optimal interventions from an inter-professional spiritual care team approach will also be evaluated.

Terms Typically Offered: Fall.

NURS-415  Sociocult Cntxt/Diversity/Nurs  3 Credits  

This course examines how cultural, socioeconomic, religious, racial, generational, and lifestyle differences are experienced by members of society, and how these variables are related to health and disease. Also included is a concerted understanding of how cultural and social practices impact health both positively and negatively. This course is designed to help the student integrate diversity knowledge within the community health setting. This course is offered in seated and online formats.

NURS-420  Community Health Nurs/Clinical Studies  5 Credits  

This course, through both classroom and clinical experience in community settings, will help the student develop skills in providing nursing care to individuals, families, and/or communities. Issues such as Child Abuse and family violence will be discussed. Ninety hours of clinical practice in public/community health settings are required to successfully complete this course. The Child Abuse content for the Public Health Nurse certificate (PHN) is included (7 hours). This course is offered in seated and online formats. *Note: There may be additional clinical/health requirements or updates that need to be submitted prior to beginning this course. All clinical/health requirements are to be uploaded in an immunization tracker system (contracted by the university).

NURS-425  Edctn Theory/Proc/Tchg in Nurs  3 Credits  

This course explores education theory and skills in clinical teaching situations with emphasis on individuals, families, and groups. Content includes theories and principles of learning, teaching strategies and methodologies, teaching resources, assessment and evaluation of instruction. This course is offered in seated and online formats.

NURS-430  Ldrshp/Mngt in Professnl Nurs  3 Credits  

This course explores theories of leadership/management, concepts of power, motivation, decision-making, change, budgeting and management skills related to the professional nursing role in the healthcare system. This course is offered in seated and online formats.

NURS-470  Special Topic:  1-4 Credits  

Study of a special topic in Nursing. May be repeated for credit.