Nursing Student listening to heart beat

Clinical Nurse Leader (MEO), MSN

The University of San Francisco offers a Master's Entry - Master of Science in Nursing, Clinical Nurse Leader program for individuals who hold a bachelor's degree in a field outside of nursing.

The Master’s Entry MSN program trains the Clinical Nurse Leaders of the future. Combining traditional classroom instruction with immersive learning experiences, the Master’s Entry MSN fully prepares students for RN licensure in only two (2) years of full-time study. Offered at both our San Francisco and Orange County campuses, with Fall and Spring semester start dates.

The USF Advantage

The Master’s Entry Master of Science in Nursing, Clinical Nurse Leader program is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in areas of study outside of nursing and are seeking a new career as a registered nurse (RN).

A USF MSN-prepared nurse is equipped to:

  • Improve patient care and safety, clinical outcomes, and unit efficiency.
  • Reduce cost and improve standards of care with the use of evidence-based
  • Advocate and enhance promotion for patients, communities, and health
    professional teams
  • Design, coordinate, and evaluate care for a diverse population of patients, families, and communities
  • Provide services at the point of care to individuals across the lifespan with particular emphasis on health promotion and risk reduction
  • Synthesize data, information, and knowledge to evaluate and achieve optimal outcomes
  • Ensure inclusive care planning for patients and families

Program Structure

  • Full-time, two year program
  • Classes are offered spring, summer, and fall semesters
  • 68 units
  • National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) taken during fifth semester
  • Complete more than 1,000 clinical and internship hours in hospitals and other health care settings

Sample Clinical Sites

  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Laguna Honda Hospital
  • Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital
  • Oakland Children’s Hospital
  • California Pacific Medical Center
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital
  • La Clínica de la Raza

Application Deadlines

The Master's Entry MSN, Clinical Nursing Leader program accepts applications for spring and fall admission at our San Francisco and Orange County locations. Please apply by the following deadlines for Spring and Fall admission. You must complete all required nursing courses at the campus to which you apply.

San Francisco

  • Spring – September 1st
  • Fall – February 1st

Orange County

  • Spring – September 15
  • Fall – February 1st

Please note, applications are due on the date of the deadline at 11:59 PM PST. The application system is set to Eastern Standard Time, therefore, your application will be considered on-time if submitted by 2:59 AM EST or 11:59 PM PST



The baccalaureate degree program in nursing, the master's degree program in nursing, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

It is also approved by the California State Board of Registered Nursing. Students who graduate from the program are also eligible to receive the California Public Health Nursing Certificate.

L.V.N. 30 Unit Option

Mandated by California Administrative Code, Title 16, Article 3, Section 1429.

The purpose of the 30-unit option for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) is to provide the nursing coursework and clinical practice for the LVN so that person will be eligible to apply for the examination for licensure as a Registered Nurse in the State of California. The RN license obtained by this method may not be accepted by all states.

This option is NOT part of the University of San Francisco baccalaureate nursing program and does NOT lead to a BS in Nursing degree nor any other degree.


In order to participate in this option for the ME-MSN program, the student must:

  • Already possess a baccalaureate (bachelor's degree)
  • Be a licensed vocational nurse
  • Have completed the application process at USF as a matriculated student or as a "Special Status" student.
  • Have successfully completed courses in physiology and microbiology comparable to such courses as required for licensure as a Registered Nurse