Frequently Asked Questions




Q: Does Brandman have a pre-licensure nursing program?
All Brandman nursing programs require that you be a Registered Nurse (RN) before enrollment.


Q: Do I need a California nursing license to enroll in a Brandman Program?
All students enrolled in the RN to BSN program must apply for a California license even if they will be doing their clinical in another state (where they must also be licensed). All other nursing students are required to have an active unencumbered RN license in the state where they will be doing their clinical.


Q: What are the academic and professional entry requirements for Brandman nursing programs?

  • To enter the RN to BSN program, you must be an RN and have completed an Associate degree in Nursing
  • To enter the BSN to DNP program, you must be an RN and have a Bachelor's degree in Nursing
  • To enter the Post-Master's to DNP program, you must be an advanced practice nurse (NP, CNS, CNM, or CNA), be nationally certified in your specialty (if national certification exists), and have a Master's degree in Nursing.


Q: Will I need to live in or near Irvine, CA to complete my degree?
No.  All programs in The Marybelle and S. Paul School of Nursing and Health Professions are delivered using a blend of periodic Immersion sessions at the Irvine campus; clinical practice in hospitals, clinics and health centers; and online lectures, demonstrations and exercises. Our programs include face-to-face instruction during Immersion sessions, of 3 to 4 days each. The number of required Immersion sessions varies with your program.

A list of affordable hotels that are near the campus will be provided. The closest airport is John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County. Many of the hotels provide shuttle service from the airport and to the campus. A complete calendar for your program will be provided upon admission.


Q: What is a "Session" and how does it compare to a traditional academic semester?
Brandman has six sessions each year, two in the Fall trimester, two in the Spring trimester, and two in the Summer trimester. Each trimester is considered a unit of eligibility for financial aid. Each session is 8 weeks long. These shorter sessions allow students to focus their study on a small number of courses and still complete a graduate degree in one to three years of study.


Q: Can I apply for financial aid if I am a part-time student?
Financial aid is available for students who take at least 2 courses per trimester (1 course per 8 weeks) while pursuing a degree at Brandman.


Q: Can I work while completing my degree?
Many students in the nursing and health professions programs work part-time while pursuing their education at Brandman. Some students are able to work full-time while pursuing their education in a part-time degree program.


Q: Do Brandman graduate programs require a thesis or dissertation?
Degree programs in the Marybelle and S. Paul School of Nursing and Health Professions emphasize clinical and applied practice.  Early in their programs, students are connected with faculty mentors who will guide them through the development of their Clinical Scholarly Research projects.  Students complete the Clinical Scholarly Research project during the last half of their program of study.  Projects take many forms, but must demonstrate the student’s ability to do original scholarly work in their chosen discipline and must meet the requirements set by the applicable licensing/certification/accreditation organization.


Q: Does Brandman offer continuing education courses or graduate certificates?
Both continuing education courses and graduate certificates are offered.


Q: Does Brandman have a degree program that prepares me to become a nurse practitioner?
Brandman offers BSN to DNP programs in three nurse practitioner specialties:

  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)
  • Family/Across the Lifespan (FNP)
  • Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)


Q: Does Brandman allow nurses with a Master's degree in Nursing, who are not advanced practice nurses, to enter the Post-Master's to DNP program?
A nurse with an MSN or other Master's degree who is not an advanced practice nurse should enter the BSN to DNP program to become an advanced practice nurse in one of our three nurse practitioner specialty areas. Credits from core courses in their MSN such as nursing research, theory, and electives may be allowed to transfer into the DNP through a petition process. Nurses who are not now or do not want to become an advanced practice nurse are not eligible for admission to the DNP program at this time.


Q: Can I complete more than one specialty at Brandman?
Yes, students may complete two specialties in the BSN to DNP degree and be eligible to sit for the Boards in each specialty. This adds time to the degree completion, but allows the student to complete two specialties and still receive financial aid.


Q: Can I add a specialty while I am completing my Post Master’s to DNP program?
Yes, Nurse Practitioner students may add one of our nurse practitioner specialties to their program of study. An individualized education plan will be developed.


Q: I am a nurse practitioner faculty member and already have my doctorate degree. Does Brandman have a program that will allow me to add a new specialty?
Yes, Brandman has multiple Post Doctoral Certificates in nurse practitioner specialty areas that allow faculty to complete the new specialty in 7 months. Clinical hours are completed during the Summer trimester, when faculty are usually on break.


Q: How many credit hours is the DNP degree?
To earn the DNP degree, students must earn 73 credit hours. Students entering with a MSN degree may transfer a maximum of 40 credit hours from the MSN.


Q: Does the Brandman Marybelle and S. Paul School of Nursing and Health Professions offer fully online degrees?
All nursing programs in The Marybelle and S. Paul School of Nursing and Health Professions are delivered using a blend of periodic immersion sessions at the Irvine campus; clinical practice or mentorship in hospitals, clinics and health centers; and online lectures, demonstrations and exercises. 

During immersion sessions, students will meet face-to-face to learn advanced information technology skills, engage in communication and teamwork exercises and practice clinical skills in a state-of-the-art simulation center using standardized patients, computer-managed manikins and three-dimensional virtual reality environments.

During online sessions, students will engage in instructor-guided or self-directed study using live and recorded lectures, demonstrations, tutorials and other activities.

This blend of teaching methods provides a rich and engaging learning experience for busy professionals who must juggle school, work and family.


Q: How can I contact someone for other questions?
Call (866) 685-8793 or e-mail for questions.