Public Health Nurse Certificate

The RN to BSN program satisfies the Board of Registered Nurses academic requirements to be eligible for the Public Health Nurse (PHN) Certificate. Current regulations for public health nurse certification require that the nurse be a graduate of a BSN degree program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Recognizing the fact that other groups of nurses should be eligible, the School of Nursing with the approval from the BRN has developed the program described herein.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for this certificate program, applicants must:

  1. Hold a current registered nurse license from the California Board of Registered Nursing, unencumbered, unrestricted, with no disciplinary action pending or imposed; and
  2. Have an overall grade point average of 2.5 (on a four-point scale) or higher in the baccalaureate program.
  3. Be a baccalaureate graduate with a non-nursing degree from an accredited institution;
    Graduates of a BSN program from an accredited foreign institution need to contact the Board of Registered Nursing who will advise the student directly.

The process for obtaining the certificate differs depending on where the nurse received her/his bachelor’s degree. Find the category below that best describes your educational preparation and follow the instructions given.

CSUDH BSN Graduates

All BSN graduates of the School of Nursing are automatically eligible for the Certificate.

After graduation, you must request your official transcript from CSU Dominguez Hills and download the PHN Certificate application from BRN’s website or contact the BRN at (916) 322-1988 and request the PHN Certificate application. Send your PHN Certificate application to the School of Nursing Department:

Attention: School of Nursing, CSUDH
1000 E. Victoria St.
Carson, CA 90747

who will verify your completion of the BSN program. After the Nursing department verifies your completion of the BSN program here at CSU Dominguez Hills, they will return the form to you. Once the PHN Certificate application is filled out, you will send the completed application, your official transcript, and a $75.00 fee to the BRN.

Foreign Nursing School Graduates


If you are currently licensed as a registered nurse in the U.S. and have earned a BSN from a school outside the United States or from a U.S. school that is NOT ACCREDITED by the National League for Nursing at the time that you graduated:

  1. Contact the BRN at (916) 322-1988 and request the PHN Certificate application or go to the BRN’s website and download the PHN Certificate application.
  2. Complete and return the application to the BRN with the $75.00 fee.
  3. Request transcripts to be sent to the BRN from all schools you have attended.
  4. The BRN will evaluate your transcripts for completion of PHN Certificate content and will issue the certificate or a letter of deficiency.
    • If you receive a letter of deficiency, contact Student Services at (800) 344-5484 choice option 1 to request a letter of process and instructions to enroll in the required courses using Open University registration form.
    • After completing the required coursework, request transcripts to be sent by Admission and Records to the BRN. Your certificate will be issued within 6 to 8 weeks.

Nurses with Non-Nursing Baccalaureate Degrees

If yours Bachelors Degree is NOT in nursing:

Enroll in one of the workshops (held in California only) listed on our Workshops page.

You will receive confirmation and instructions regarding workshop requirements.

Send copies of all unofficial transcripts and course descriptions to the School of Nursing attention PHN two weeks prior to the workshop.

Following the workshop and transcript evaluation, you will be eligible to apply for admission to the program and to enroll in the course(s) you need.

When all requirements are met, you will be eligible to apply to the BRN for the PHN certificate.


A total of 32 units must be completed. Students may be given credit for courses taken in previous colleges/universities.

  • BSN 306.* Cultural Diversity (3)
  • BSN 346.* Human Pathophysiology (3)
  • BSN 380. Health Assessment (3)
  • BSN 381. Health Assessment Skills Laboratory (1)
  • BSN 400. Health Promotion and Teaching (3)
  • BSN 405. Statistics (3) (Any statistics course with descriptive and inferential stats will be qualified)
  • BSN 410. Community Based Nursing I (3)
  • BSN 411. Home Health Role Performance (2)
  • BSN 420. Community Based Nursing II (3)
  • BSN 421. Public Health Role Performance (2)
  • BSN 430. Health Care Systems, Policy and Finance (3)
  • BSN 460. Nursing Research Utilization (3)

* can be taken via challenge exam through CSUDH School of Nursing