University of San Francisco School of Nursing

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Coordinates: 37°46′33.26″N 122°27′2.87″W / 37.7759056°N 122.4507972°W / 37.7759056; -122.4507972

University of San Francisco
Motto Educating Hearts and Minds to Change the World
Established 1954
Type Private, Jesuit
Dean Judith F. Karshmer
Students approx. 800
Location Cowell Hall, near Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco
Campus Urban
Mascot The Don

The University of San Francisco School of Nursing is a private nursing school located in San Francisco, California. First established in 1954, the school has approximately 800 students.


The University of San Francisco School of Nursing is located in Cowell Hall on the 51-acre (210,000 m2) hilltop USF campus overlooking Golden Gate Park, the Pacific Ocean and downtown San Francisco. Cowell Hall is located on the main campus, entrance from Golden Gate Avenue between Kittredge Terrace and Roselyn Terrace; Cowell Hall is behind the Harney Science Center and the University Center.

The USF School of Nursing works in conjunction with many of the hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area to provide clinical training for students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The School of Nursing has a Learning Resource Center and Skills Lab on the first floor of Cowell Hall which provides an environment in which students can practice their skills and clinical decision making in order to enhance both their cognitive and psychomotor acquisition. There is also a Simulation Center located at nearby St. Mary’s Medical Center. The Simulation Center provides opportunities for students to work in teams to acquire clinical judgment and develop in the professional nursing role.

Besides the San Francisco Campus, the School offers master’s-level programs at USF’s regional campuses in San Ramon and Santa Rosa.


The School has over 600 undergraduate students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program and over 200 graduate students in their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) programs.

USF's School of Nursing is ranked 54th in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report.

The BSN is a four-year, full-time baccalaureate degree leading to licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN). The program prepares men and women for beginning positions in nursing, provides the means for personal and professional advancement, and qualifies them for progression into programs that offer advanced degrees.

The MSN degree has a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) focus. The CNL is an advanced generalist who provides optimal outcome based patient care, providing for continuity and optimizing staff’s ability to provide high quality care in a cost efficient manner. The MSN program at USF is accessible to nurses with a BSN, RNs with a baccalaureate degree in other disciplines, and RNs with an associate’s degree or diploma. In addition there is a master’s entry (ME-CNL) option for individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another field and want to become an RN and develop the skills as a clinical nurse leader.

The DNP is a practice-focused doctorate. Graduates are prepared as nurse practitioners (direct advanced practice) and healthcare system leaders (indirect advanced practice). Nurses with either the BSN or those who have already earned the MSN can pursue the degree.

Student life[edit]

The USF School of Nursing has various student organizations which provide both graduates and undergraduates with opportunities to become involved in school matters, university life, state- and nation-wide professional organizations, and community service.

The School offers an immersion program in San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala, as part of a project that is charged with decreasing infant and maternal morbidity and mortality in an area with the highest MCH death rates in that country. There is also a study tour to London and Vienna that focuses on the history of Nursing.


The School is accredited by the California Board of Registered Nursing and by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The USF School of Nursing has a 96% passing rate on the NCLEX among its baccalaureate students and a 100% passing rate for the masters-level students.

Student nurses from USF provide 140,000 hours of health care services to the San Francisco Bay Area each year.

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