Online MSN Program FAQs

Read the answers to our FAQs to learn more about this impressive program.

What exactly is a “Jesuit education?”

The University of San Francisco was founded as a premier Jesuit Catholic, urban university. At the foundation of the Jesuit philosophy is the mission to "educate for the greater good." Embodied in this philosophy are the key characteristics of promoting critical inquiry, pursuing diversity, instilling leadership in service, and promoting justice. You will find these themes incorporated into the Clinical Nurse Leader program.
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How long has the University of San Francisco been educating nurses?

The School of Nursing and Health Professions has been around for more than 50 years. Made up of an experienced, dedicated faculty, the School is innovative in its offerings and promotes the implementation of changes in patient care at the global level.
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Who makes up the faculty of this program?

Our team of educators consists of the largest number of Clinical Nurse Leader-certified faculty members in the nation. These diverse experts are clinicians, managers, practitioners, and executives, who all either already hold their doctorate or are in the process of earning it.
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What is required for admission into the Online MSN Degree?

See specifics on the Admission Requirements page.
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How do I apply for the program online?

Certain application materials, such as the goal statement, resume, and letters of recommendation, as well as the application form, may be submitted online. Official transcripts must be mailed, and a copy of your active nursing license can be faxed or scanned and e-mailed.
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What is the application deadline?

Deadlines vary depending on when you're applying, and the program offers three start terms each year (fall, winter, spring). Please view the Academic Calendar for specific dates.
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Is the program open to international nurses?

Yes, the program is open to international nurses if they have a valid RN license from one of the 50 states within the U.S. Learn more at the Admission Requirements page.
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Are students admitted in both the fall and spring?

Yes, students can begin the program any term, including Summer.
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How many units is the program?

The program consists of 46 units for ADN's and 34 units for BSN's.
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How many courses can I complete per term?

Two 8-week courses per semester with the exception of one 16-week semester for your final practicum.
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How long does it take to complete the program?

The program can be completed in as few as two years.
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Once admitted, how do I register?

Upon our receipt of your deposit, you will be given access to USFconnect, which will allow you to register for courses. Instructions are provided at http://myusf.usfca.edu/onestop. Simultaneously, you will also be given access to Blackboard, our learning management system. This is where you will complete your orientation and access your courses.
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How do I order books?

You may order books online via the University of San Francisco bookstore. Visit the website to order your books: http://www.usfca.edu/bookstore/.
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What kind of computer hardware and software must I have to complete the program?

Specific hardware, software, and other requirements can be found on the Computer Requirements page. You are expected to be comfortable using PC technology, sending and receiving e-mail, navigating the Internet, and engaging in online learning.  
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How is this program different than other MSN programs?

Unlike many other MSN programs that focus on a specialty, this program focuses on the Clinical Nurse Leader role. The program is based on the University of San Francisco values of social justice, diversity, integrity, accountability, and excellence.  
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What exactly is the Clinical Nurse Leader role?

Clinical Nurse Leadership is an emerging profession. Whether at the bedside or in a managerial role, Clinical Nurse Leaders are well-rounded leaders skilled to analyze evidence and trends to implement transformational system change and empowered to improve patient outcomes at all levels. To learn more about the CNL role you can also visit: http://www.aacn.nche.edu/CNL  
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Which types of evidence-based nursing practices are applied by Clinical Nurse Leaders?

Literature, research, and innovative breakthroughs in medical research are embraced by Clinical Nurse Leaders. Students pursuing the online MSN learn the standardized means to use evidence rather than using a traditional apprenticeship model. Your skills are refined throughout the program, culminating with a final project in which you demonstrate application of evidence-based nursing to an issue of your choice.  
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Is the Clinical Nurse Leader role supported by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)?

Yes, the AACN supports the role "as a way to engage highly skilled clinicians in outcomes-based practice, quality improvement, and lateral integration of care."  
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Will I receive Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) Certification upon graduation of the Master of Science in Nursing CNL program?

The USF online MSN program prepares you with the knowledge to sit for the exam. Once you pass the exam, you will receive your certification. Please note, you do not have to pass the exam to receive your degree. The Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) requires that you sit for the CNL certification exam.  
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Which other types of roles can I pursue upon graduation?

Nurses within the University of San Francisco's advanced degree may pursue advancement in roles such as Nurse Managers, Nurse Directors, Nurse Educators, and Nurse Recruiters, as well as the quickly-growing Clinical Nurse Leader role.  
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Am I able to work full time while completing the online program?

Yes, the online program is designed specifically for working nursing professionals. The curriculum can be completed while you continue to work, and you can apply learned principles as you go.  
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Are the classes fully online or are there also in-classroom courses?

The program is fully accessible online. There are no on-site classes; however, students must also complete a practicum (clinical) component of the degree in an on-site facility in their area.  
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Will I feel like a part of the University of San Francisco even though I’m taking the program online?

Yes! Classes typically have 20 students so that you are ensured adequate interaction and relationship-building opportunities with professors and cohorts.  
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Is the program accredited?

Yes, the University of San Francisco is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and has been since the 1940s. The School of Nursing is also accredited by both the California Board of Registered Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Learn more on the Accreditation page.  
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Which types of financial aid are available?

Visit the Financial Aid page to explore funding options.  
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How much does the program cost?

For all information you may need regarding tuition, please visit: https://www.usfca.edu/billing-tuition/tuition-fees-graduate      
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