Master of Science in Nursing
The School of Nursing provides master’s level educational opportunities for registered nurses and individuals with a bachelor’s degree in other fields who wish to enter the profession or pursue an advanced practice nursing degree.
Registered nurses with bachelor’s degrees in Nursing can enter the master’s program by demonstrating they have met nursing content comparable to that in the SF State baccalaureate program.
Individuals who are not nurses but have a bachelor’s degree may apply to the Entry-Level M.S.N. program. Students in this program complete the pre-licensure curriculum along with graduate-level coursework to earn their M.S.N. in six semesters. Upon completion of pre-licensure courses, the students take a national licensing exam (NCLEX-RN) to become a registered nurse. A two-year accelerated program is also available. Accelerated students enroll through the SF State College of Extended Learning. All students must have successfully completed all prelicensure courses and take the national licensing exam (NCLEX-RN) in California before enrolling in NURS 802.
The master’s level curriculum includes both core courses and specialty courses. The core courses, the portion of the program for all students, include nursing theory, advanced practice nursing roles, pathophysiology, research, leadership, health policy, and ethics for advanced practice nurses. Units taken in addition to the core program are selected with graduate nursing faculty advisement.
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
This emphasis offers students in both the Entry Level MSN and the regular MSN programs the opportunity to take courses for certification by the California State Board of Registered Nursing and/or the American Nurse Credentialing Center. The CNS is an advanced practice nurse holding a master’s degree with an emphasis in a specific area of clinical nursing such as adult, women’s health, psychiatric, and pediatrics. The role of the CNS is defined by the needs of a select client population and clinical expertise of the nurse.
This emphasis enables students in both the Entry Level MSN and the regular MSN programs to combine the nursing perspective and principles of business to become effective and successful managers and administrators. Elective courses can be taken through the College of Business with the advice and approval of an academic advisor.
Students completing this emphasis are prepared to assume nursing roles in a variety of care settings including public health, home health, and schools.
RN-MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration
Please refer to the Master of Science in Nursing: Concentration in Family Nurse Practitioner page in the Bulletin.
Admission/Application Information and Requirements for the Master’s Degree
For all applicants:
- Visit the School of Nursing website for specific application dates.
- Meet general requirements for admission to graduate study at SF State and submit a separate application to the Division of Graduate Studies.
- Complete the School of Nursing supplemental application process.
- Include a written goal statement.
- Students whose native language is not English and whose preparatory education was principally in a language other than English must demonstrate competence in English. For more information visit Graduate Admissions.
- All graduate students are required to establish written English proficiency (see information below) by submitting results of the analytical writing section of the GRE at the time of application. A score of 4.0 or better is required.
- Three references from work colleagues, supervisors, or educators.
- Provide a resume or curriculum vitae.
For RN applicants:
- Courses in inferential statistics and an undergraduate nursing research course are recommended.
- RNs who enter the M.S.N. program without a Nursing bachelor’s degree must complete undergraduate nursing research and a community/public health courses before enrollment or concurrent with semester one M.S.N. coursework.
- Some of the prerequisite courses may be challenged or waived for students who have extensive professional experience and have participated in mandatory continuing education programs for RN licensure.
- Family Nurse Practitioner applicants must have a minimum of one year or 2,000 clinical hours of RN experience.
For Non-RN applicants:
- Entry-level master’s applicants must have completed all prerequisites at the time of application to the program.
- One of the three required references must provide evidence of health-related work or volunteer experience.
Written English Proficiency Requirement
The University has a requirement for graduate written English proficiency that is to be assessed at two different points (Levels) in the student’s program.
Level One (prior to admission)
A score of 4.0 or above on the analytical writing section of the GRE.
Demonstration of English proficiency on the final paper for NURS 794.
Emphasis or Electives (8–12 units)
Units on advisement
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
This emphasis offers the graduate student the opportunity to take additional courses for certification by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) and to take a national certification exam through the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC). The CNS is an advanced practice nurse holding a master’s degree in a specific area of clinical nursing specialization such as adult and critical care, women’s health, and pediatrics. The role of the CNS is defined by the needs of a select client population and clinical expertise of the nurse. Specialized role content is included in NURS 801 and NURS 802.
Community Public Health
Students completing this emphasis are prepared to assume nursing roles in a variety of care settings including public health, home health, and schools and may be eligible for CNS certification by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). Specialized role content is included in NURS 801 and NURS 802.
This emphasis enables students to combine the nursing perspective and principles of business to become effective and successful managers and administrators. Courses may also be taken in the College of Business with the advice and approval of the advisor.