Why the USF MSN is for ADNs

Creating the Nurse Leaders Who Will Shape the Future

When the landmark Institute of Medicine report The Future of Nursing was released, recommendations included increasing the number of nurses with advanced degrees and expanding opportunities for nurses to practice to the full extent of their training. These propositions go hand-in-hand, as nurses who pursue their education become better qualified to lead the health care sector in this time of continuing change.

The University of San Francisco Online MSN Program

The University of San Francisco is at the forefront of the nurse leadership movement, recognized as one of the first schools in the nation to offer the ADN to MSN online degree program. Our curriculum has pioneered a “big picture approach” to patient outcomes, helping to empower RNs to become Clinical Nurse Leaders (CNL) with the skill and knowledge to provide high-quality care in increasingly complex health care environments.

Instead of preparing nurses for a specific type of practice, as many MSN programs do, the University of San Francisco focuses on developing nurses who strive to foster meaningful change as Clinical Nurse Leaders who are masters prepared advanced generalists. ADN to MSN students will also find the Jesuit values of social justice, diversity, integrity, accountability, and excellence, which are woven throughout our program to reinforce the concept that nursing is one of the highest forms of service to humanity.

Three-Pronged Approach to Nursing Leadership Education

The Clinical Nurse Leader role emerged as a result of the increasing complexity of patient care needs and health delivery environments. As the industry continues its efforts to optimize health care systems, the value of CNLs who can design, implement, coordinate, and evaluate care becomes more apparent.

That’s why the University of San Francisco online ADN to MSN program has been designed to target three key areas of educational opportunity:

  •  Business Practices

There is always a price tag attached to making transformational changes in the health care setting. The more innovative and far-reaching, the greater the financial impact. Clinical Nurse Leaders need to know how to build a business case for turning their visions into reality. The online nursing program at the University of San Francisco prepares you to apply management theory to ensure the best possible use of human, environmental, and material resources.

  •  Evidence-Based Nursing

The best clinical treatment plans, public health policies, and patient advocacy programs are those which are substantiated by irrefutable evidence. As part of the University of San Francisco online MSN program, you will analyze the latest literature, research, and breakthroughs in medical science, and learn how to leverage that knowledge to improve patient outcomes and health care policies. You will use the skills gained throughout the program in a culminating project, applying evidence-based nursing to an issue of your choice.

  •  Leadership

There is a need for more nurses to provide leadership at the executive level where the decisions are made. Nurses have a critical perspective that goes to the very core of every patient care and community health organization. The ADN to MSN Clinical Nurse Leader program emphasizes communication, collaboration, and consultation, developing your abilities to build alliances and accurately assess the scope of practice within a health care team.

Doctoral-Level Nursing Faculty

The University of San Francisco School of Nursing and Health Professions has the nation’s largest number of Clinical Nurse Leader-certified faculty members. The diverse team includes clinicians, managers, practitioners, and executives, all of whom hold their doctorate or are currently in the process of earning it.

You can expect our faculty members to act as advisors and mentors, working closely with you to explore your strengths and interests, helping you plan your academic career, assisting you with future career planning, and guiding you through your practicum experiences. Your practicum will be conducted in a clinical setting close to your home to accommodate your schedule as a working professional.

Online faculty members encourage interaction so you can get the most out of the online ADN to MSN program. You have the opportunity to interact with your professors, collaborate with your fellow students, and build and nurture networking relationships that can benefit you for years to come.

Program Overview and Objectives

Leveraging a solid scientific foundation, the curriculum focuses on quality improvement, patient safety, and care coordination with other health professionals. The University of San Francisco also includes the Clinical Nurse Leader Certification exam as part of your studies. It is our goal for you to graduate from the ADN to MSN online program feeling empowered to take on the following challenges:

  •  Design, coordinate, and evaluate care for individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations, with an emphasis on health promotion and risk reduction services.
  • Understand the rationale for care and competently deliver this care to an increasingly complex and diverse population in multiple environments.
  • Leverage technology to synthesize data, information, and knowledge to evaluate and achieve optimal patient outcomes.
  • Ensure that patients, families, and communities are well informed and included in care planning.
  • Advocate for the patient if decisions or activities are against his or her wishes or interests.
  • Serve as an advocate for the profession and the interdisciplinary health care team.
  • Teach clients, groups, and other health care professionals under your supervision.
  • Participate in system reviews to improve quality and safety of patient care delivery.
  • Delegate and manage nursing team resources, while also serving as a leader and partner of the interdisciplinary health care team.
  • Assume accountability for your continuing education and ability to effect change in health care practice and outcomes in the profession.

Health care facilities nationwide hire CNLs because of their significant contributions to more effective and efficient patient care. If you seek the challenge of improving health care on an organizational as well as patient level, the University of San Francisco online MSN Clinical Nurse Leader program can prepare you with the knowledge and skills to help you reach your goals.


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