Master of Science in Nursing

The MSN program at the University of San Francisco is designed to prepare graduates in the role of the clinical nurse leader (CNL). The emerging role of the CNL is a national initiative in response to patient care needs and the current health delivery environments. The CNL is a provider and a manager of care. The graduate designs, implements, and evaluates care by coordinating, delegating, and supervising the care provided by the health care team, including licensed nurses, technicians, and other health professionals.

Curriculum

The MSN/CNL curriculum is developed around a unique conceptual framework, the Vision, Mission, and Values. The conceptual framework is layered with transition theory and symptom management and enables the BSN student to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes consistent with the profession of nursing. The nursing process is represented by the strong foundation in clinical knowledge pertaining to assessment, diagnosis, skills, interventions and management of physiological and psychological symptoms in a culturally sensitive way among patients in a variety of settings.

A graduate of the CNL program will understand the rationale for care and competently deliver this care to an increasingly complex and diverse population in multiple environments at the point of care, across the lifespan with particular emphasis on health promotion and risk reduction services. At the completion of the program, the graduate will:

  1. Work collaboratively as a member of the interdisciplinary healthcare team, utilizing effective written and oral communication, and professional behaviors to foster shared decision-making and accountability among team members for patient care outcomes.
  2. Synthesize data, research information, and clinical expertise to develop, implement, and evaluate patient care protocols and guidelines for clinical practice that achieve optimal client outcomes, improve access to care, and manage healthcare costs.
  3. Participate in critical analyses of systems and utilize data to continuously monitor patient outcomes and to inform decisions for change that improve the quality of care delivered to individuals, families and communities.
  4. Advocate for social justice, equitable access to health care, and policy change through political action.
  5. Demonstrate health care technology and information literacy to access, monitor, manage, and communicate data to plan, deliver, and evaluate direct and indirect patient care to improve healthcare outcomes.
  6. Demonstrate knowledge of regulatory requirements to employ safeguards to protect the privacy of patients and their healthcare data.
  7. Employ knowledge of human factors implicated in adverse patient outcomes to continuously analyze the delivery and outcomes of care within the context of the healthcare system to identify and minimize patient risk, harm, and error.

Progression

Any graduate student who earns a B- in any course will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation who fail to raise their cumulative grade point average to 3.0 by the time they have completed the next six (6) semester hours of graduate work are subject to disqualification from the program. For Master's of Science in Nursing Entry Level students whose cumulative average falls below 2.5 in any one semester are also subject to disqualification. Students who earn two failures (grade B- or below in theory courses) or one unsatisfactory (grade of U in clinical or practicum courses) are disqualified from the nursing program.

The University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions reserves the right to add, amend, or cancel any of its programs, regulations, rules, policies, and procedures, in whole or in part, at such time as it may choose and for any reason. None shall be construed as, operate as, or have the effect of an abridgment or limitation of any rights, powers, or privileges of the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in the publications. Students are advised, however, that such information is subject to change without notice and they should consult with the Office of the Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Professions for current information. Information in this Publication does not constitute a contract between the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions and a student or an applicant for submission.

Graduate Progression

  1. Any graduate student who's cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation who fail to raise their cumulative grade point average to a 3.0 by the time they have completed the next six (6) semester units of graduate work are disqualified from the program.
  2. Any graduate student who earns less than a "C" in any pre-licensure course or a "U", Unsatisfactory in a pre-licensure clinical course must repeat the course earning a "C" or better or a "S" Satisfactory before further pre-licensure courses may be taken.
  3. Any graduate student who earns less than a "B-" in any post-licensure graduate course or a "U" in a role course must repeat the course earning a "B-" or better or "S". If a student fails to earn a "B-" or "S" in a repeated course, they are disqualified from the program.
  4. If a graduate student has 2 course failures, the student will be disqualified from the program.
  5. A graduate student admitted on a "provisional" status to the RN-CNL/MSN program must take the writing course PSMA 500 and earn a "B-" or better to progress in the program.

· Pre-licensure courses in the CNL Program include N601, N610, N612, N617, N618, N619, N622, N624, N635, N636, N637, N638, N644, N645, N646 and N652

All other required courses in the graduate departments are post-licensure. All graduates of the USF-CNL/MSN program meet the AACN CNL master's degree outcome competencies and practice standards and are eligible for certification by the national American Nurses' Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL).

Four curricular tracks are available to those interested in pursuing the MSN in Clinical Nurse Leader:

    • The Non-Nurse with a Baccalaureate Degree who is seeking entry into the nursing profession [Masters Entry CNL]
    • The Registered Nurse who has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing (BSN-MSN)
    • The Registered Nurse without a Baccalaureate Degree (RN/ADN MSN)
    • The Registered Nurse with a Baccalaureate Degree in another discipline (RN-MSN)
    • Post Masters CNL certificate
    • Blended BSN-MSN 4+1 track

The masters entry CNL/MSN is offered at USF's hilltop campus in San Francisco. All other CNL/MSN programs are offered at USF's Pleasanton, North Bay, San Jose, and Sacramento Branch Campuses on a rotating basis.

CNL Option for the Non-Nurse with a Baccalaureate Degree who is seeking entry into the nursing profession [Masters Entry CNL]

This option is designed for the non-nurse who holds at least a bachelors degree and who now seeks a nursing career. Coursework prepares students to become licensed as RNs while preparing them to be Clinical Nurse Leaders. The program is comprised of 68 units and is designed to be completed in a year and a half of continuous study (six consecutive semesters) including the CNL Internship. During the last semester of study, students focus on taking primary responsibility for the design, coordination, and management of healthcare by participating in an internship. This clinical application of theoretical knowledge allows students to implement and evaluate an interdisciplinary project that reflects the application of outcome-based practice models of care delivery.

Masters Entry Level CNL/MSN Courses include:  

  • NURS - 601 Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
  • NURS - 602 Introduction to Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Practice
  • NURS - 604 Instructional Design and Healthcare Informatics
  • NURS - 610 Health Promotion of Families and Individuals across the Life Span
  • NURS - 612 Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
  • NURS - 613 CNL Role: Introduction
  • NURS - 614 Health Care Systems Leadership
  • NURS - 615 CNL Role: CNL as Educator
  • NURS - 618 Med-Surg Nursing I
  • NURS - 619 Med-Surg Nursing I - Clinical Lab
  • NURS - 622 Health Assessment through the Lifespan
  • NURS - 623 CNL Role: Team Manager and Leader
  • NURS - 629 Financial Resource Management (CNL)
  • NURS - 634 Clinical Nurse Leader: Nursing Research
  • NURS - 624 Fundamentals of Nursing: Learning, Reasoning & Applying
  • NURS - 635 Med-Surg Nursing II
  • NURS - 636 Med-Surg Nursing II Clinical
  • NURS - 637 Pediatric Nursing
  • NURS - 638 Pediatric Clinical Lab
  • NURS - 642 Epidemiology and Population Statistics
  • NURS - 644 Clinical Leadership in Mental Health and Community-Based Practice
  • NURS - 645 CNL Role: Integration and Evaluation of Clinical Leadership Role
  • NURS - 646 Clinical Lab IV: Community and Mental Health
  • NURS - 648 Health Care Policy and Ethics (CNL)
  • NURS - 651 CNL Role: Synthesis
  • NURS - 652 Applied Assessment & Fundamental Skills Laboratory
  • NURS - 653 Internship: Clinical Nurse Leader
CNL Option for the Registered Nurse who has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing (BSN-MSN)

The CNL program for the Registered Nurse builds on baccalaureate nursing education and clinical experience. The program is comprised of 34 units and is designed to be completed in six semesters of full time study as outlined below in the MSN Core Courses section.

CNL Option for the Registered Nurse without a Baccalaureate Degree (RN-MSN)

The RN-MSN accelerated degree program is designed for the registered nurse who holds an Associate's Degree in Nursing or a Hospital Diploma and has now decided to pursue graduate nursing education. Students do not earn a BSN degree but progress directly to the MSN. The program is comprised of 46 units and is designed to be completed in six semesters.

CNL Option for the Registered Nurse with a Baccalaureate Degree in Non-Nursing

This CNL track incorporates the previous baccalaureate coursework of the RN while supplementing it with continued education in nursing. The program is comprised of 39 units and is designed to be competed in six semesters.

All MSN options are designed for the working professional; classes will be offered once a week and supplemented by online instruction.

Online CNL Program for Registered Nurses

The Online MSN Clinical Nurse Leader program is designed for Associate’s Degree and Bachelor’s Degree prepared Registered Nurses. All coursework is asynchronous and completed in an interactive online learning environment. Online MSN students participate in online discussions, group collaborations, blogs, and discussion boards anytime, anywhere there is Internet access. Students complete their practicum hours in a clinical setting close to home with a preceptor. Online MSN students complete the same curriculum as the traditional RN-MSN program offered on-campus. At the ADN level, the program is comprised of 46 units and can be completed in as few as 7 semesters. At the BSN level, the program is comprised of 35 units and can be completed in as few as 6 semesters. Semesters for the Online MSN program are 16 weeks long and are broken into two 8 week terms. Students are enrolled in 1-2 courses each term. Admission into the Online MSN Clinical Nurse Leader program is offered in the Spring, Summer, and Fall.

RN/MSN Core Courses

  • NURS - 600 Foundations of CNL Leadership
  • NURS - 602 Introduction to Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Practice
  • NURS - 603 Assessment
  • NURS - 604 Instructional Design and Healthcare Informatics
  • NURS - 612 Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology
  • NURS - 613 CNL Role: Introduction
  • NURS - 614 Health Care Systems Leadership
  • NURS - 615 CNL Role: CNL as Educator
  • NURS - 628 CNL Role-Clinical Outcomes Manager
  • NURS - 629 Financial Resource Management (CNL)
  • NURS - 623 CNL Role: Team Manager and Leader
  • NURS - 639 Nursing Inquiry
  • NURS - 642 Epidemiology and Population Statistics
  • NURS - 648 Health Care Policy and Ethics (CNL)
  • NURS - 651 CNL Role: Synthesis
  • NURS - 653 Internship: Clinical Nurse Leader

RNs with an ADN/Diploma take the following courses in addition to the MSN CORE

  • NURS - 501 Transitions to CNL Graduate Education
  • NURS - 505 Community Health Nursing
  • NURS - 506 Community Health Nursing Practicum
  • NURS - 642 Epidemiology and Population Statistics (4)
  • NURS - 500 Professional Writing (4)

RNs with a Bachelors in a Non-Nursing field take the following courses in addition to the MSN

CORE

  • NURS - 505 Community Health Nursing
  • NURS - 506 Community Health Nursing Practicum