Tower Bridge and downtown Sacramento.
The School of Nursing’s popular RN-to-MSN program is expanding, this time to the University of San Francisco’s Sacramento regional campus.
The program, which has established itself at USF’s campuses
in Cupertino, San Ramon, and Santa Rosa as well as with a cohort in Fresno as
demand has grown in recent years, is now enrolling at USF’s campus in the heart
of California’s capital city for January 2012.
Designed for RNs with a diploma, an associate’s degree, or a
bachelor’s degree in nursing, this master’s degree program provides direct
access to graduate education and allows working nurses an opportunity to earn
an advanced degree in two calendar years. The RN-to-MSN program caters to
working students’ busy schedules with local classes held one day a week for
three to four hours in the evenings and with additional online assignments.
RN-to-MSN, USF's First Online Degree
USF’s RN-to-MSN program is also expanding online, with
classes scheduled to begin in January 2012.
The university's first all-online degree, the popular program will cater to interested students from across the country.
“The online RN-to-MSN is for men and women who are RNs,
but not necessarily from California or who live too far from the USF campus to
make coming here or to one of our regional campuses a possibility,” said
Patricia Lynch, associate dean at the School of Nursing. “Now, they will be
able to go online and work towards a master’s degree the same way that our
nurses can come to campus to receive a master’s degree.”
The program will enroll students for the spring, summer,
and fall terms, each broken into two eight-week terms.
Students will learn online by interacting with faculty
members and classmates through email, video presentations, chat discussions,
and more. Students will receive the same high quality courses from the same USF
faculty as if they were in San Francisco, Lynch said.
“The benefits to students of the RN-to-MSN program are that
they can meet close to home, continue to work as they pursue their education,
avoiding long commutes, and enjoy highly-engaged curriculum as part of small
classes of about 20 students all while laying the foundation to take the next
step in their career,” said Patricia Lynch, associate dean at the School of
In addition to earning a master’s of science in nursing
(MSN), students in the program are prepared for the Clinical Nurse Leader role
by completing an internship (400 hours) and becoming CNL certified. CNL
certification sets the stage for nurse generalists to assume accountability for
the health care outcomes of specific groups of patients within a unit or by
instituting best practices through designing, implementing, and evaluating
patient care outcomes.
A CNL is a master's prepared care provider with a focus on
quality improvement, patient safety, interprofessional practice, and care
coordination. “As a CNL, graduates will be prepared to develop solutions for a
variety of systems problems that they might see on their unit or in their place
of work, such as: enhancing wound care in polytrauma patients, improving pain
management by using tools that improve assessment, action plans to prevent
patient falls, and improving the discharge process,” Lynch said. “In a final
project, CNL students develop a solution and present it in a poster-style
presentation as well as in a paper.”
A number of graduates have, in fact, used their RN-to-MSN
final project to tackle a problem they encountered in their daily workplace.
And that’s by design, since graduating nurses who can put what they’ve learned
to work immediately is the objective, Lynch said.