Applying for a California Public Health Nurse Certificate

We are happy to provide you links to the CA Board Of Registered Nursing (BRN) website and instructions to help you apply for your PHN certificate.


Note: It can take the CA BRN up to 12 weeks to review and approve your application. Feel free to email directly if you have any questions about the process below.


Steps to Obtain California (CA) PHN certificate, you need to meet ALL of the following requirements:

  1. Have and produce an active California (CA) RN license.
  2. Complete WGU’s BSN program prior to application.
  3. Complete all Community Health clinical hours in the state of CA with an approved CA preceptor and agency/clinical site.
  4. Complete the CA Board of Nursing PHN application, attach a recent 2x2 passport photo, and fee payment online on the CA Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) website (opens new window).
    • Information for the CA Public Health Nurse Certificate application related to the Child Abuse/Neglect Education:

      School Name: Western Governors University
      Course Number: C228
      Course Name: Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing
      Number of Hours: 7.0 hours

    • Only use the Santa Ana, CA location below (not Utah) as the school address on the application:

      Western Governors University
      Santa Ana, CA

  5. Next, request an official transcript for the CA BRN by placing an order at (opens new window). Upload the PHN Transcript Request form to this order. Emailed forms will not be accepted. The PHN form must have the following:

    Location listed as Santa Ana, CA
    Student’s signature
    CA BRN PHN Application number written at the top of the form

    Note: If the form is missing information or contains incorrect information, the transcript order will be cancelled and an email will be sent to your WGU email address with information on how to correct the form from

  6. Students who completed C228 before 3/20/2017** will need to email a copy of their CE Direct Certificate to with the subject line “CE Direct Certificate.”

    Students were directed to retain a copy of the CE Direct Child Abuse/Neglect certificate for their records within the C228 course. If a student loses the certificate, or forgot to keep it, they can contact CE Direct directly and request the transcript here: WGU cannot retrieve your certificate from CE Direct. 

    Note: Each applicant is responsible for retaining and submitting a copy of their Child Abuse/Neglect certificate found in their CE Direct account to the CA BON with the Public Health Nurse Certificate application. This certificate must be received within 5 business days of the transcript order containing the PHN application attachment. If this document is not received, the transcript order will be canceled.

    **Those with CE Direct Certificate stored in their Field Experience portal after 3/20/2017 do not need to send this certificate to Records.**

  7. WGU facilitates the State Director of Nursing approval signature and will:
    • Attach a set of official transcripts and the copy of Child Abuse/Neglect certificate to the PHN Transcript Request form.
    • Mail all documents to the CA BRN to complete your application processing.
    • WGU Records will send an email  to your WGU email address when the packet has been sent to the CA BRN.

      Note: CA BRN processing time may take up to 10-12 weeks or longer. WGU requests for processing can take up to 7 business days. Approval of the CA Public Health Nurse Certificate application is at the discretion of the CA Board of Registered Nursing. If you have difficulty accessing the information on the Student Clearinghouse or questions, please call WGU at  877-435-7948, ext. 3119, and indicate you would like to speak with someone in the Student Records department.





Article Number: 51493

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‎09-24-2019 06:36 PM
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