Skip to Content

San Diego State Imperial Valley launches new accelerated pre-licensure BSN program

The program will be located on the Brawley campus and the last day for prospective students to submit an application for the fall 2022 semester is Friday June 3rd.

IMPERIAL VALLEY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - San Diego State University (SDSU) Imperial Valley is helping combat the critical nursing shortage in the region through the creation of a new, accelerated pre-licensure bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program. 

Dr. Karen Macauley, Director of SDSU’s School of Nursing says this program will be for freshmen coming out of high school and also transfer entry students.

"We went through the process which was somewhat laborious about eight months to get the program approved through the Board of Registered Nursing," Macauley said. "So we have the same program on the main campus in San Diego and have expanded this program to provide the same opportunities in Imperial Valley."

The program does normally take four years for freshmen to complete and that's how it is on the main campus in San Diego.

"However, on the Imperial Valley campus for freshmen, it's a three year program and we're excited to be able to offer it over summers because our clinical partners, the hospitals wanted us to send students over the summer when they have more vacancies for clinical placements," said Macauley. "So for freshmen, it will take three years to finish the program. And then transfer students who come in with all their required prerequisites, it'll take two years. Normally on the San Diego campus, the transfer students take three years, so that's why it's a bit accelerated to really make a difference on providing registered nurses for the valley. We can hopefully turn them out a little bit quicker."

Dr. Helina Hoyt, SDSU Imperial Valley Associate Director School of Nursing, says this program will provide a seamless transition for their local stellar high school graduates who love their community and want to be able to serve their community in this capacity.

Hoyt says since 2007, they've graduated more than 280 nurses with a bachelor's degree and those had to come through the community college first to come in just to the bachelor component, and then many of them have gone on and gotten master's degrees or doctoral degrees.

"So what's exciting for the university is we've actually grown our own faculty. So our team will be living and working here and then be mentoring the next generation," said Hoyt. So I think that's invaluable at the university level and and what we're seeing is truly a community academic approach to filling a need here that has been void for a long time."

The direct entry BSN program builds upon the continued partnership with Imperial Valley College to provide opportunities for students in Imperial Valley to pursue a career in the high-demand healthcare industry.

Macauley says COVID has been very difficult in the last two years on the nursing profession not only in the valley, but in the full United States and over the entire world. She says nurses have been leaving the profession left and right because of just burnout and mental health issues.

"So even before COVID happened, the office of statewide planning and development has determined that Imperial Valley is a critical nurse, registered nurse shortage area. So the impact of working with Imperial Valley College to have several pathways to come into nursing," said Macauley. "So not only going to the associate's degree and then coming through the RN to BSN program at San Diego State but now also having a freshman entry and a transfer entry will just help the local communities by providing grow your own philosophy of recruiting from all of the zip codes in Imperial County to provide nurses for the agencies and the hospitals that come from the local communities."

Macauley says to her understanding, there's a lot of turnover in nursing and travel nurses that are working in the valley and hopefully what this will do is alleviate some of the nursing shortage issues within the valley.

Hoyt says in some regards the program may be difficult because of timing but in other regards, she believes that they have high impact practices they are putting into place to help optimize their success.

"So in terms of timing, yes, they'll have to commit and realize that we need to optimize our health and devote to school," said Hoyt. "But then in other regards, with the mentoring that we're putting in for writing and math and for leadership and professional growth, we believe that it's a win win, and they'll be very successful. In addition, the support we're getting from our clinical partners is just tremendous."

Hoyt says it's exciting because these students are not going to just be trained in hospitals, but they'll be trained in community to help them see a bigger picture and understand when patients come into the hospital, the zip code and where they're coming from really does determine a lot of their health.

"We have the prisons, immigration, our own local behavioral health community, social services, public health," Hoyt listed.

Macauley says San Diego State is excited to expand all of the programs. Not only the BSN program but also cohorts of master students in their leadership and their advance practice specialties that they offer on the main campus. She says this is just the start of offering more programs for the local residents of Imperial County.

The last day for prospective students to submit an application for the accelerated pre-licensure BSN program in fall 2022 is Friday June 3rd. It was a small window for applications because of the accreditation process.

Though, Hoyt says they will be opening up applications soon for fall 2023.

To apply for fall 2022, you can email Dr. Shiloh Williams at

Article Topic Follows: Imperial Education

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Vanessa Gongora

Vanessa Gongora joined the KYMA team in 2022 and is the anchor/producer for CBS at 4 p.m.

You can contact her with story ideas at


KYMA KECY is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content