Master of Science in Nursing

Visit the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program Pages:

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program at the University of San Francisco is designed to prepare nurses for leadership and critical action within complex systems and organizations to lead change, promote health and elevate the quality of health care. A master’s educated nurse is prepared to design, implement, and evaluate care by coordinating, delegating, and supervising the services provided by their team, which includes licensed nurses, technicians, and other health professionals.

Curriculum

The MSN program comprises of foundational graduate nursing curriculum focusing on leadership, management and evaluative methods to improve care at multiple levels across the continuum of health care settings. Additionally, the curriculum cultivates nurses to manage point-of-care at the microsystem, or individual patient-level practice, as well as functional area content which covers information systems, healthcare policy, communication and organizational behavior to provide students with the knowledge and skills to improve outcomes in the areas of quality processes, cost savings, and patient satisfaction. Didactic and supervised clinicals help train nurses to integrate advance nursing knowledge in their master’s level nursing practice.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of USF’s MSN 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:

Progression

Any graduate student whose cumulative grade point average falls below a 3.0 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. Any graduate student whose cumulative grade point average falls below 2.5 in any one (1) semester are also subject to disqualification. Students who earn two (2) failures (grade of B- or below in theory courses) or Unsatisfactory (grade of U in clinical or practica 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

  • Any graduate student who earns less than a “B-” in any pre-licensure course or a “U” (Unsatisfactory) in a pre-licensure clinical course must repeat the course earning a “B-” or better or a “S” (Satisfactory) before further pre-licensure courses may be taken.
  • Any graduate student who earns less than a “B-” in any post-licensure graduate course or a “U” (Unsatisfactory) in a post-licensure practicum course must repeat the course earning a "B-" or better or an “S” (Satisfactory). If a student fails to earn a “B-” or “S” in a repeated course, they are disqualified from the program.
  • If a graduate student has two (2) course failures, the student will be disqualified from the program.
  • A graduate student admitted on a “conditional” status to the MSN program must fulfill the conditions of admission, as specified, to progress.

Pre-licensure courses in the MSN program include: NURS 601, NURS 602, NURS 610, NURS 618, NURS 619, NURS 622, NURS 624, NURS 634, NURS 635, NURS 636, NURS 637, NURS 638, NURS 644, NURS 645, NURS 646, NURS 661, & NURS 662. All other required courses in the graduate department are post-licensure.

All graduates of the program meet the Master’s Essentials and master’s degree outcome AACN Competencies and Curricular Expectations for Clinical Nurse Leader (SM) Education and Practice standards. Graduates are eligible to sit for the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC) Clinical Nurse Leader certification exam.

MSN Program Options

Four (4) curricular options are available to those interested in pursuing the Master of Science in Nursing: MSN Direct Entry Option (ME-MSN), MSN for Registered Nurses(RN-MSN), Dual Degree BSN-MSN 4+1 Option and Post Masters Clinical Nurse Leader Certification. The ME-MSN option is offered at USF's Hilltop campus in San Francisco and in Orange County. The RN-MSN option is offered on a rotating basis Online, in Pleasanton, San Francisco, and San Jose. The dual degree options are offered at USF’s Hilltop campus in San Francisco.

  1. MSN Direct Entry Option (ME-MSN): For candidates with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) in any field who is seeking entry into the nursing profession (Direct Entry MSN)

    This option is designed for the non-nurse who holds at least a bachelor's degree and who now seeks a nursing career. The direct-entry option prepares students for licensure as RNs while integrating graduate-level curriculum that prepares them for nurse-leader positions. Students complete 93 credits over the course of two (2) years of full-time continuous study (fall, spring, and summer) at USF’s Hilltop campus in San Francisco or in Orange County, with classroom instruction three (3) days weekly and clinical practice two (2) days weekly. 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.

  2. MSN for Registered Nurses (RN-MSN): For candidates who are currently Registered Nurses (RNs). 

    RN-MSN candidates can be of the following types:

    The Registered Nurse without a Baccalaureate Degree (ADN-MSN): The accelerated ADN-MSN option was developed for the Registered Nurse who holds an Associate Degree in Nursing, Associate of Science 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. This option is comprised of 46 credits and is designed to be completed in two (2) years or six (6) semesters full-time study (fall, spring, and summer) as outlined below in the MSN Core Courses section.

    The Registered Nurse with a Baccalaureate Degree in another discipline (ADN-MSN): This program option incorporates the previous non-nursing baccalaureate coursework of the Registered Nurse while supplementing it with continued education in nursing, and is comprised of 39 credits and is designed to be completed in two (2) years or six (6) semesters full-time study (fall, spring, and summer) as outlined below in the MSN Core Courses section.

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

    The Registered Nurse who has a Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing (BSN-MSN): The MSN program for the Registered Nurse with a BSN builds on baccalaureate nursing education and clinical experience. The program option is comprised of 35 credits and is designed to be completed in two (2) years or six (6) semesters full-time study (fall, spring, and summer) as outlined below in the MSN Core Courses section.

  3. Dual Degrees: BSN-MSN 4+1; ME-MSN/MPH

    For highly motivated and academically successful BSN and MSN studentsNURS 613: CNL Role: Introduction | 1 credit, two (2) dual degree options are available: BSN-MSN 4+1: students completing the BSN program have the opportunity to complete the Master of Science in Nursing  concurrently, and MSN/MPH: students completing the direct-entry option (ME-MSN) of the MSN program can complete the Master of Public Health (MSN/MPH) program along the way.

    Learn more about the BSN-MSN 4+1 dual degree program

  4. Certificate: Post-Master’s Clinical Nurse Leader certificate  

ACCREDITATION

The Master of Science in Nursing degree at the University of San Francisco, School of Nursing and Health Professions is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

All options of the MSN are included in the accreditation of the MSN degree program in the School of Nursing and Health Professions.

All graduates of the program meet the master’s degree outcome AACN Competencies and Curricular Expectations for Clinical Nurse Leader (SM) Education and Practice standards, and are eligible to sit for certification by the Commission on Nurse Certification (CNC) as a Clinical Nurse Leader.

STATE AUTHORIZATION

USF is accepting applications for enrollment into online degree programs from residents in the following states: Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. Please check www.usfca.edu/state-auth for specific programs offered in these states.