Master of Science in Nursing (Entry Level)

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 Professional & Global Education. 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.

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Applies and integrates broad organizational, client-centered, and culturally appropriate concepts in the planning, delivery, management, and evaluation of evidence-based clinical prevention and population care and services.
  2. Demonstrates nursing and inter-professional collaboration that facilitates open communication, mutual respect, and shared decision-making to achieve quality patient care.
  3. Creates collaborative programs and educational approaches that address health promotion and disease prevention needs of culturally-ethnically diverse individuals and populations.
  4. Demonstrates a professional leadership role to promote quality and safe clinical patient care that incorporates ethical and critical decision-making approaches, fiscal accountability, effective working relationships, and systems perspectives.
  5. Assimilates nursing knowledge and expertise through research utilization, informatics literacy, and generates educational, leadership, or clinical approaches to advance professional nursing practice.
  6. Utilizes information technology to communicate effectively, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and to support decision-making.
  7. Designs evaluation strategies for nursing care outcomes to assess, manage, and determine resource allocation for evaluation of nursing care outcomes.
  8. Evaluate methods, tools, performance measures, and standards related to quality improvement within a healthcare organization.
  9. Applies research outcomes within the practice setting to resolve identified practice problems.
  10. Organizes interventions at the health care system level utilizing policy development processes, economic principles, and employing advocacy strategies to influence health and health care services for individuals, families, aggregates/identified diverse populations and communities.

Entry Level Master in Nursing – 97 units

Undergraduate Core (53 units)

NURS 310Human Development and Health Assessment Theory3
NURS 311Human Development and Health Assessment Lab2
NURS 314Health Promotion in Nursing3
NURS 315Health Promotions in Nursing - Practicum2
NURS 326Reproductive Health Theory3
NURS 327Reproductive Health Practicum3
NURS 328Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Theory3
NURS 329Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing Practicum3
NURS 350Nursing Interventions Practicum I2
NURS 410Nursing Care of Children Theory3
NURS 411Nursing Care of Children Practicum3
NURS 420Nursing Care of Adults Theory3
NURS 421Nursing Care of Adults Practicum3
NURS 450Nursing Interventions Lab II2
NURS 520Advanced Medical Surgical and Critical Care Nursing3
Select One: 3
Advanced Medical Surgical and Critical Care Nursing Capstone Practicum
Advanced Medical Surgical and Critical Care Nursing Capstone Practicum
NURS 522Chronic Care and End of Life Care Theory3
NURS 530Community Health and Global Perspectives Theory3
NURS 531Community Health and Global Perspectives Practicum3

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