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Prelicensure Nursing Information for California applicants


IMPORTANT: This program is extremely competitive and clinical availability is very limited. Admission is not guaranteed. The program is on impacted status, which means the number of applications received is greater than the number of seats available in the program. Priority for admission is given to employees that work for a WGU clinical partner. Due to this, we strongly encourage all prospective students to keep their options open and apply to multiple nursing programs within the state of California. 

Application cycle.

We will accept applications from prospective students that have completed ALL ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS twice a year: 

March 1-31
October 1-31 

***IMPORTANT: Due to high volume, we will only evaluate official transcripts and perform GPA calculations during the application cycle. Click HERE to learn more about our transfer policy. WGU will not conduct unofficial transcript evaluations. Students are expected to use the resources that are available on this page to determine their eligibility.

Please Note: The application cycle for employees of a clinical partner may vary. Please connect with your education specialist at your hospital to get contact information for your hospital’s WGU Enrollment Counselor. 

The application cycle is currently closed.

You are welcome to apply during the next application cycle if all admissions requirements are satisfied. 

***Important: Assistance from Enrollment Counselors may be delayed while the application cycle is closed due to serving students in other states. Be sure to thoroughly review the website and all resources that are available to ensure all admissions requirements are satisfied prior to the next application cycle. 

Start dates.

Although we accept applications in March and October, that does not mean our start dates occur at that time.

The WGU B.S. Nursing Prelicensure program does not offer a start date each month like our other programs. We have sporadic start dates throughout the year. The clinical hospital partners that we work with determine when our cohorts will begin and the size of those cohorts. It is not uncommon for our clinical partners to begin a last-minute cohort or push a projected start date.  We encourage applicants to diligently work on completing their entire application to ensure they are eligible to be considered for as many cohort start dates as possible. 

Admission status.

Once a prospective student has satisfied all admissions requirements, they will be placed in a pool of qualified applicants and eligible for consideration for all future cohorts as they come up. Applicants will remain on this list until they no longer wish to be considered for the program or until the TEAS score expires (valid for 5 years). 

***Due to high volume, applicants will only be notified of their admissions status if they are selected for a cohort.

Requirements to apply.

This program is competitive. Students must meet the following criteria noted below to be considered for admission to the pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Please note that meeting the requirements does not guarantee admission.

Academic prerequisites.

To be considered for enrollment, students must have completed the following prerequisite courses or transfer equivalents. Prerequisite coursework cannot be in progress when being considered for future cohorts.

  • English Composition I
  • Survey of United States Constitution and Government
  • Introduction to Communication
  • Introduction to Humanities
  • Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Anatomy and Physiology I (with lab)
  • Anatomy and Physiology II (with lab)
  • Clinical Microbiology (with lab)

All official/individual college transcripts must be requested and submitted to WGU during the open application cycle.

Completing your prereqs.

Prospective students must complete all prerequisite courses below prior to applying. WGU does not offer the option/ability to administer prerequisites.  It is the student’s responsibility to complete missing requirements through other institutions offering courses.  The link below offers a list of options and other information about transfer credits.

Other admissions requirements.

Enrollment into the First Term is competitive. Students must first be accepted and enrolled into the First Term before they have the opportunity to progress into Term 2.  You must be at least 18 years of age before beginning the application process or participating in clinical experiences. 

Applicants must have a combined minimum of a 2.5 GPA in the required nursing sciences (Anatomy/Physiology I w/lab, Anatomy/Physiology II w/lab, Microbiology w/lab) to be considered for enrollment into the First Term . Enrollment in the university and in the First Term does not guarantee acceptance into the clinical nursing program. Applicants are required to submit and/or complete the following items:

  • Take and pass the ATI TEAS Exam with a minimum total score of 60% and a reading subtest score of at least 60.
  • Submit a professional resume. Please provide a professional resume outlining your academic and professional history.
  • Submit a letter of intent. You must submit a 1-2-page student statement detailing your exposure to nursing and explaining why you want to become an RN. This document helps us understand your unique situation and personal goals.
  • Submit one professional letter of recommendation. As an applicant, you will be required to submit one professional letter of recommendation. This letter should come from a supervisor at your current or former place of employment. This letter should indicate what attributes the individual believes you have that will make you a great RN. The letter can be addressed to “Nursing Director”.
  • Submit official transcripts from all previous institutions that show completion of required prerequisites.

Note: All prerequisites must be complete before an application for enrollment can be considered. Applicants who are not native speakers of English are required to take appropriate tests of language proficiency.

As admission is competitive, the GPA of the applicants admitted is usually significantly higher than the minimum 2.5 required.

The higher your TEAS scores, the more competitive your file will be.  WGU allows two attempts in a 12-month period.     TEAS scores are valid for five years.

Students who are successful in Term 1 will be eligible for progression into Term 2. The following must be completed in order to be considered for progression into Term 2:

  • Proof of health insurance†.
  • Proof of successfully passing of a criminal background check*.
  • Proof of successfully passing a urine drug test*.
  • Proof of a current immunization record and current negative TB test.
  • Proof of meeting the specific physical requirements in accordance with the core performance standards of the nursing profession.
  • Participation in an interview.

Students in Term 1 will be required to submit evidence of all of the below to be considered for progression into Term 2: 
Immunization Requirements

  • Tetanus/Diphtheria and Pertussis vaccination
  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccinations and Titer
  • Varicella Zoster vaccination and Titer
  • Hepatitis B vaccination and Titer
  • TB testing
  • Seasonal flu vaccination

It is necessary to have the following physical abilities for the Clinical portion of the program:
Essential Performance Standards/Clinical Nursing

  • walk the equivalent of five miles per day
  • reach above shoulder level
  • hear tape recorded transcription and emergency monitors
  • distinguish colors
  • adapt to shift work
  • grip
  • sit and stand for long periods of time
  • climb stairs
  • lift 50 pounds
  • perform CPR

If you have any questions about these required immunizations and physical requirements, please speak with an Enrollment Counselor.

† Note: Student malpractice insurance will be provided by WGU at no cost to you.

* Note: Starred items are required to be completed no sooner than 90 days prior to beginning the clinical portions of this program.

**California students will progress to Term 2 provided all Term 1 requirements have been satisfied.

Program at a glance: Start your journey here.

The BSN (Prelicensure) program is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for aspiring nurses looking for a path to both their registered nurse (RN) license and a BSN degree. It's also unique among WGU online degree programs—with some things to consider as you think about applying for admission. Please check out the BSN (Prelicensure) Program Snapshot, a great place to start your research on the nursing program.

Please view these four informational videos. They provide a great place to start your research on this innovative nursing program.

Watch: The basics of the BSN (Prelicensure) program.

Watch: Terms, time commitment, and clinical calendar.

Watch: The two-part admissions process.

Watch: Getting started—how to apply for admission.

Courses and curriculum: Your 2.5-year nursing prelicensure program.

You will work with your WGU Program Mentor and Course Instructors to prepare for rigorous assessments, virtual-reality simulations, and high-fidelity simulations. Once you've successfully completed those, you will qualify to attend your agency-based clinical rotations. Expect to spend at least 30 hours or more per week on your studies, and in the completion of clinical rotations and simulation labs.

This program has a standard path and a set pace, with a completion time of 2.5 years.

Additional courses in term if not accepted for transfer:

  • Biochemistry (if not accepted for transfer)
  • Pharmacology (if not accepted for transfer)
  • Applied Health Care Statistics and Analysis (if not accepted for transfer)
  • Information Management and the Application of Technology
  • Caring Arts and Science Across the Lifespan I
  • Caring Arts and Science Across the Lifespan I Clinical Learning
  • Physical Assessment
  • Caring Arts and Science Across the Lifespan II
  • Caring Arts and Science Across the Lifespan II Clinical Learning
  • Care of Adults with Complex Illnesses
  • Clinical Learning for Complex Illnesses in Adults
  • Professional Roles and Values
  • Care of the Older Adult
  • Psychiatric / Mental Health Nursing
  • Psychiatric / Mental Health Clinical
  • Care of the Developing Family
  • Nursing Care of Children
  • Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing
  • Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing Field Experience
  • Evidence Based Practice and Applied Nursing Research
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Critical Care Nursing Clinical Learning
  • Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership
  • Professional Nursing Role Transition
  • Nursing Clinical Practicum

WGU grads outscore the national average on NCLEX.

The rigor, quality, and relevancy of our curriculum can be seen in the success of our graduates. Graduates of WGU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program achieved a 96.7 percent pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) in 2019, compared with the national average of 91.2 percent.

  • California: 97.9%, compared with 91.7%
  • Florida: 90%, compared with 88.8%
  • Indiana: 93.7%, compared with 91.5%
  • Texas: 100%, compared with 94.4%
  • Utah: 96.7%, compared with 89.2%

“Our nursing graduates continue to demonstrate a high level of competence,” said Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk, Senior Vice President of WGU’s College of Health Professions. “We are committed to advancing access to our high-quality prelicensure nursing education because we know that our students go on to positively impact the health of the communities in which they work and live.” 

Read more about the success of WGU graduates who take the NCLEX.

Flat-rate, unbelievably low tuition.


Tuition per 6-month term


+ $645

Program and Resource Fees


= $5,925

Total Per Term


One-time Application Fee

Apply FREE this week

$645 per-term program fees include a Resource Fee of $145 (covers all e-books and learning resources, saving you thousands) and a Health Professions Student Fee. Tuition and fees are as of January 1, 2020.

Other student responsibilities:
ATI TEAS Exam: $115 at PSI Testing Centers; cost differs at other sites
Uniforms: $146.30 plus shipping, handling, and applicable taxes
Lab kit fees: $263.09
Drug screen, background check, and immunization tracking system: $94, which includes one alias search; there will be a separate charge for each additional alias search, and due to expenses associated with accessing court documents, the fees for students in the following states will be as follows: MI ($10), NV ($12). All fees are subject to change.

You may also be required to pay for a doctor’s visit for a physical examination and immunizations to fulfill specific admissions requirements. Please speak to an Enrollment Counselor to learn more about what is required of you.

Financial aid and scholarships available! Learn more.

The accreditation you need, plus industry respect and recognition.

Healthcare and nursing employers want employees with the credentials that prove they can help improve patient care while streamlining facilities and strengthening their reputations. An important measure of a health degree’s value is whether it comes from an accredited university with programs that have been recognized for excellence by leading healthcare organizations. WGU’s commitment to quality has been recognized:


CCNE Accredited logo and NWCCU Accredited logo

In addition to WGU's regional accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791).


“What we need are people who are truly versatile, able to learn efficiently and effectively, folks who are able to master change at the same pace as their company, and folks who are self-motivated. Those are the kind of people [who] represent graduates of Western Governors University.”

John Steele
Senior Vice President of Human Relations, HCA Healthcare


Best Value School badge

Value is a combination of low cost and high quality. University Research & Review has named WGU a Best Value School several years running—a strong measure of return on investment!




Frequently asked questions.

The WGU B.S. Nursing Prelicensure program does not offer a start date each month like our other programs. We have sporadic start dates throughout the year. The clinical hospital partners that we work with determine when our cohorts will begin and the size of those cohorts. It is not uncommon for our clinical partners to begin a last-minute cohort or push a projected start date.  We encourage applicants to diligently work on completing their entire application to ensure they are eligible to be considered for as many cohort start dates as possible. 

This program is extremely competitive and clinical availability is very limited. Admission is not guaranteed. The program is on impacted status.

Typically, 10-12 students are selected per cohort. However, this number ultimately depends on clinical availability. 

An LVN license does not waive all prerequisites or shorten the program. The BSN Prelicensure is a 2 ½ year program. Acceleration is NOT an option

Employees of the partnering hospitals are not guaranteed admission.  However, they do have a greater opportunity for possible acceptance. 

Statistics and Pharmacology must have been completed within the last 5 years for transferable credit. However, if these courses are not completed we will allow students to complete them in Term 1 (if accepted).

No, students are not allowed to change their clinical site location. 

No. Due to our agreements with our partnering hospitals, students must adhere to the clinical dates/times provided. Keep in mind these dates/times are subject to change. 

Prospective students are expected to thoroughly review the California information page, as many questions will be answered by reviewing all important resources that are provided here. Should you have questions after researching the material, you may email your questions to Please note, assistance from Enrollment Counselors may be delayed while the application cycle is closed due to serving students in other states. We will respond to your email as soon as we can.