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UCSF Nursing - Top 10 Nursing Schools

University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing is a top choice for any potential student interested in entry-level and graduate nursing education. UCSF nursing school is currently ranked the number two program in the country by U.S. News and World Report, behind Johns Hopkins, University of Pennsylvania and University of Washington, which all tied for number one. UCSF first began as a diploma program in 1907. The first bachelor degree program in the University of California system was offered on the Berkeley campus in 1917. The first graduate degree was offered a year later. The first doctoral degree nursing program was offered in 1965. In 1959, the UCSF School of Nursing was officially formed and all nursing school activities were consolidated to the San Francisco campus.

Why choose UCSF School of Nursing?

UCSF School of Nursing has a rich nursing heritage. The school is part of a world-renowned health sciences campus, including schools of dentistry, medicine and pharmacy. The university's teaching hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, were recently awarded Magnet status by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. This honor signifies excellence in nursing practice, patient care, safety and satisfaction and is awarded to less than 7 percent of hospitals. Currently, there are over 600 students enrolled in the various degree programs at UCSF of which 14 percent are male, 6 percent are international students and 37 percent identify themselves as an under-represented minority. UCSF has a high student retention rate, varying by program from 85 percent to 98 percent. Attending an accredited nursing school is important. UCSF School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


AT UCSF School of Nursing, admission is very competitive with an acceptance rate around 12 percent. Requirements for admission to UCSF vary by degree. For the traditional masters degree, applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing, have an active registered nursing license, have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or greater and have a minimum of one year of work experience. Applicants to the Masters Entry Program must have completed prerequisite coursework including human anatomy, statistics, microbiology and nutrition. Additionally, prospective students must hold a baccalaureate degree in a general non-nursing field, complete the GRE exam, provide four letters of recommendation and provide a written goal statement. Applicants to the doctoral degree program must hold a bachelor's or masters degree in nursing, have a graduate GPA of at least 3.2, have one year of nursing experience and hold an active nursing licensure.

Degrees and Specializations

UCSF School of Nursing does not offer a traditional bachelor degree program. Available degrees start at the master's level and continue to the doctoral level. At this time, none of the degree programs can be completed online. UCSF has traditional master degree programs, as well as specialized options. Two unique offerings are the Associate Degree (ADN) to Masters pathway and the Masters Entry Program. The ADN to Masters program is designed for actively practicing nurses who do not hold a bachelor degree who wish to earn a bachelor degree in nursing, or continue on to the masters level. The Masters Entry Program is designed for students who already hold a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field and wish to enter the nursing profession. Traditional masters degree programs are available in the following specializations: clinical specialist, nurse practitioner, educator, nurse midwife, administrator, health policy specialist, or consultant. Nurse practitioner subspecialties include adult-gerontology primary care, family, women's health, pediatric and psychiatric/mental health. Clinical nurse specialist subspecialties include adult-gerontological, adult-gerontological critical care trauma and oncology. The doctor of philosophy degree prepares nurses for research or teaching careers.

Tuition and Financial Aid

UCSF tuition varies by degree and resident status. Non-residents are charged a higher rate than residents. The 2012-2013 annual tuition and fees for a nursing master's degree are $22,881.00 for residents and $35,126.00 for non-residents. For a nursing doctoral degree, annual tuition and fees are $15,141.00 for residents and $30,243.00 for non-residents. The Masters Entry Program total tuition is $55,000 for four terms. These figures do not include room, board, books or supplies.

Financial aid options at UCSF include loans, scholarships, grants, traineeships, fellowships, and employment opportunities. Much of financial aid is based on need and financial resources. Eligibility is based on the UCSF belief that financial responsibility for tuition and education costs rests with the student and family. Scholarships are also available that are awarded based on academic excellence, past work histories and future practice interests. Traineeships and work-study positions are also available. For students who desire to become nursing faculty, there is a loan program through the Health and Human Services Division. A 3 percent interest rate is charged, but up to 85 percent of the loan value is forgiven for teaching service after graduation. For master's and doctoral degree students interested in occupational health, stipends are available for full-time study through the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

UCSF is a top nursing school for anyone interested in furthering a career in nursing. UCSF has much to offer with top nursing faculty, exceptional clinical facilities and an excellent reputation. Students get a top notch nursing education and valuable real-life clinical experience at two Magnet hospitals. As UCSF is a top-ranked nursing school, graduates may have an easier job hunt than graduates of other schools. UCSF is an excellent choice for any students looking to enter the nursing profession at the master's level, become an advanced practice nurse or enter the nursing research field.

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