Six Questions with PUC’s Pre-Nursing Advisor

The nursing program at PUC is hands down our most popular major. There are many reasons for that – one being the high demand for nurses in our country but another is how well our program prepares its graduates. We sat down with Lorie Johns, the pre-nursing advisor at PUC, and asked her some of the questions our office gets the most about the program.

Q: What’s the advantage of PUC’s nursing program over other nursing programs in the area?

A: PUC’s nursing programs do not have waitlists or lotteries for their admissions process – all applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be considered for admission; small class sizes/clinical instructor to student ratios; caring instructors and support staff who are committed to student success.

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PUC nursing students conduct exams in local grade schools.

Q: How long does it take to complete the nursing program at PUC? Do I start taking nursing classes right away?

A: PUC’s AS nursing program is a full time program that takes six quarters to complete (two school years). Students then have two options for completing the coursework for the BSN program: the full time BSN program takes an additional three quarters (one additional school year), and the part time BSN program takes 18 months but allows students to work full time as RNs while completing the BSN course work. (See curriculum guide sheets for both programs here.)

Q: How strict is the Nursing Department with the requirements for admission into the program?

A: Applicants must meet all of the eligibility requirements in order to be considered for admission to the AS and BSN degree programs at PUC. This policy seeks to insure that students admitted to those programs are well prepared for success in the core nursing courses. (Learn more about the requirements for each program here.)

Q: Is PUC’s nursing program impacted?

A: Not at all. We admit three groups of AS nursing students each school year, with 27 students in each group.

Q: Can I double major with nursing? I’m thinking of pre-med and nursing.

A: Yes, if you are comfortable with the fact that combining majors likely means it will take more than four years to complete all of the degree requirements for the programs you have chosen.

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Q: Do you think having a BSN is necessary in today’s workforce?

A: Yes, I do think the BSN is absolutely necessary for new grad nurses. This is the direction that the entire field of nursing is moving: The Institute of Medicine has set the goal of having 80% of US nurses BSN-prepared by 2020 (“80% by 2020” – learn more here). In the Bay Area, there are already a number of facilities and organizations that are not accepting applications from new grad nurses who do not have a BSN. Certainly there are many exciting opportunities for students to pursue additional education and training, and completing the BSN degree would be the first step towards graduate level programs such as Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

Editor’s note: The AS degree nursing program at PUC is approved by the California State Board of Registered Nursing and both the AS and BSN degree nursing programs at PUC are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (formerly the NLNAC). If you would like to learn more about nursing at PUC, please visit our Admissions website or contact the Nursing Department at 707.965.7262 or nursingoffice@puc.edu.

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