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 821.

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.

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.
  • 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)

Personal Statement

Level Two

Demonstration of English proficiency on the final paper for NURS 794.

Master of Science in Nursing — 44 units

Graduate Core (36 units)

NURS 702Health Systems Management3
NURS 703Education, Informatics, and eTechnology in Advanced Nursing Practice3
NURS 706Health Care Policy and Nursing Leadership3
NURS 711Advanced Physical Assessment Across the Life Span3
NURS 715Pharmacological Principles Across the Life Span3
NURS 716Advanced Pathophysiology and Diagnostic Reasoning I3
NURS 717Advanced Pathophysiology and Diagnostic Reasoning II3
NURS 720Epidemiology and Biostatistics in Advanced Practice Nursing3
NURS 721Program Planning and Financial Management in Nursing Practice3
NURS 732Ethics in Advanced Nursing Practice3
NURS 794Research and Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing3
Select One:3
Applied Research in Nursing
Master's Thesis

Concentration Requirements (8 units)

The concentration will determine which two specialized practicum courses students must take.

Nursing Administration

NURS 815Graduate Nursing Practicum I: Nursing Administration4
NURS 816Graduate Nursing Practicum II: Nursing Administration4

Community Public Health Clinical Nurse Specialist

NURS 808Graduate Nursing Practicum I: Community/Public Health4
NURS 809Graduate Nursing Practicum II: Community/Public Health4

Adult/Gero Clinical Nurse Specialist

NURS 819Graduate Nursing Practicum I: Adult/Gerontology4
NURS 820Graduate Nursing Practicum II: Adult/Gerontology4

Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist

NURS 813Graduate Nursing Practicum I: Neonatal4
NURS 814Graduate Nursing Practicum II: Neonatal4

Pediatrics Clinical Nurse Specialist

NURS 821Graduate Nursing Practicum I: Pediatrics4
NURS 822Graduate Nursing Practicum II: Pediatrics4

Psychiatric and Mental Health Clinical Nurse Specialist

NURS 806Graduate Nursing Practicum I: Psychiatric/Mental Health4
NURS 807Graduate Nursing Practicum II: Psychiatric/Mental Health4

Woman's Health Clinical Nurse Specialist

NURS 817Graduate Nursing Practicum I: Women's Health/Gender-Related4
NURS 818Graduate Nursing Practicum II: Women's Health/Gender-Related4