Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing

Ann Stoltz, Department Chair

Program Offered

MSN Degree - Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELMSN) Program

The ELMSN program is designed for non-nursing graduates who desire a fast-track to professional nursing. Graduates of the program are prepared to take the RN licensing exam (NCLEX), obtain a Public Health Nurse Certificate, and earn their Master of Science in Nursing degree.

This program educates students to become competent, compassionate, and collaborative professional nurses to practice in a variety of healthcare settings. Graduates will be prepared to be agents of change with excellent client care skills, the ability to apply evidence-based practice, and engage in reflective thinking, advocacy, quality improvement, and life-long learning. To accomplish this goal, students must also demonstrate the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with people from diverse communities.

This intensive and accelerated competency based ELMSN program (90 units) can be completed in 6 trimesters (24 months) of full-time study. The program of study is cohort-based, and courses must be taken in the order listed. The program provides 21 units of clinical credit hours, which includes a clinical immersion experience in the last trimester. The clinical immersion practicum at the end of the program assists the student with role transition from student to professional nurse, which enhances employment opportunities. Students are required to successfully pass each course in a given trimester in order to advance to the subsequent trimester with their cohort and progress in the program. Students who do not pass a course, or who withdraw from a course, will not be able to progress with their cohort in the program. 

Students are required to complete a series of courses to complete an evidence-based quality improvement project as a capstone experience. Students will focus their project on an actual healthcare systems problem or a need to improve patient/population healthcare outcomes.

This program is designed to prepare students to practice competently in an increasingly complex health care environment, prepared with the skills and knowledge to be an innovator in traditional and emerging areas of nursing. Graduates will:

  • Critically analyze and use evidence to guide decision-making and clinical skills to promote best practices.
  • Use knowledge of nursing theory, core functions, and evidence-based practice to develop strategies to promote organizational change and innovation.
  • Be eligible to sit for RN licensure, obtain a Public Health Nurse Certificate, and will receive a Master of Science in Nursing degree.

During the program, students will build a strong academic foundation while working in teams with students from other disciplines to develop a compassionate, patient-centered approach to healthcare.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field from an accredited institution
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 AND a GPA of 3.2 in the last 60 units
  • A minimum 3.2 GPA in all nursing prerequisite coursework
  • Three letters of recommendation (academic and professional)
  • Statement of purpose, personal history statement, and career goals
  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume
  • Completed Nursing CAS application
  • Human Anatomy with lab (4 units)
  • Human Physiology with lab (4 units)
  • Microbiology or Bacteriology with lab (4 units)
  • Statistics or Epidemiology (3 units)
  • Psychology (lifespan or developmental) (3 units)
  • Sociology or Social Science (3 units)
  • Nutrition (3 units)
  • Communication (6 units) must include verbal and written composition

Note: Prerequisite coursework must be completed prior to enrollment.

Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing

First Year
Trimester 1Units
NURS 200Introduction to Pathophysiology and Pharmacology5
NURS 208Nursing Fundamentals & Intro to Health Assessment7
NURS 202Professional Nursing and Current Issues3
 Term Units15
Total Unit: 15
Trimester 2Units
NURS 212Nursing of Adults I7
NURS 214Mental Health Nursing5
NURS 213Intro to Evidence-based Practice and Informatics3
 Term Units15
Total Unit: 15
Trimester 3Units
NURS 216Nursing of Adults II7
NURS 224Leadership and Management3
NURS 228Population Health and Applied Epidemiology3
NURS 239Advanced Health Assessment3
 Term Units16
Total Unit: 16
Trimester 4Units
NURS 222Evidence-Based Research in Health Care3
NURS 226Quality and Safety and Health Care Improvement3
NURS 218Maternity and Women's Health5
NURS 220Nursing Care of Children5
 Term Units16
Total Unit: 16
Trimester 5Units
NURS 232Quality Improvement Project I3
NURS 238Public Health Nursing5
NURS 233Teaching & Learning in Nursing6
 Term Units14
Total Unit: 14
Trimester 6Units
NURS 242Advanced Concepts and Clinical Immersion5
NURS 236Advanced Pharmacology3
NURS 237Advanced Pathophysiology3
NURS 248Quality Improvement Project II3
 Term Units14
Total Unit: 14


Ann D. Stoltz, PhD, RN, CNL, Department Chair, Program Director, astoltz@pacific.edu, 916-739-7207

Rae Gamboni Charos, DNP, RN, FNP, Associate Program Director, Associate Clinical Professor, rcharos@pacific.edu, 916-352-4612 

Nassrine Noureddine, EdD, MSN, RN, Associate Program Director, Associate Professor, nnoureddine@pacific.edu, 916-352-4601


Adekemi Adedipe, DNP, PMHNP- BC, Assistant Professor, aadedipe@pacific.edu

Lyndsay Anderson, MSN, FNP-BC, Assistant Clinical Professor, LAnderson4@pacific.edu

John Bressan, DNPc, RN, ACNP-BC, Assistant Clinical Professor, jbressan@pacific.edu

Christine Early, MSN, RN, Assistant Clinical Professor, cearly@pacific.edu

Feng Ping Lee, PhD, RN, Associate Professor, slee8@pacific.edu

Pius Omolewa, PhD, RN, Associate Clinical Professor, pomolewa@pacific.edu

Nursing Courses

NURS 200. Introduction to Pathophysiology and Pharmacology. 5 Units.

Students examine complex physiologic processes essential to the understanding of diseases. Disease management concepts are explored in relation to body systems. Age specific alterations are correlated with clinical and medical diagnostic findings to provide the student a basis for biomedical and nursing clinical decision-making, diagnostic reasoning, and pharmacotherapeutics. Prerequisites: Admission to the ELMSN program or permission by instructor.

NURS 202. Professional Nursing and Current Issues. 3 Units.

This course provides an overview and a historical perspective of the profession, social contexts, professional standards, ethical standards, legal issues, and socialization into the profession. This course assists the student to gain a state-wide and national perspective for the profession. Current nursing issues will be discussed. Evidence-based practice and theory are introduced to focus students on current strategies to advance patient outcomes and improve health care. Prerequisite: Admission in the ELMSN program or instructor permission.

NURS 208. Nursing Fundamentals & Intro to Health Assessment. 7 Units.

This course provides the student with knowledge and skills foundational to nursing. Skill acquisition will be practiced, and competencies verified through skills/simulation labs. Students will develop competencies in conducting health histories and physical assessments across the lifespan. Clinical experiences may be incorporated in non-acute healthcare settings to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from the classroom/lab to the clinical setting. Prerequisite: Admission in the ELMSN program or instructor permission.

NURS 212. Nursing of Adults I. 7 Units.

This course introduces nursing concepts for caring for adult clients with chronic illness, emphasizing the nursing process, pathophysiology, and pharmacology. Students apply these principles in assessing, planning, implementing care, and evaluating outcomes. The curriculum integrates research evidence and clinical guidelines with caring principles to provide holistic care, promote health, and advocate for patients. Clinical experiences with a focus on medical/surgical nursing skills, are conducted in acute care hospitals. Prerequisite: Admission in the ELMSN program or instructor permission.

NURS 213. Intro to Evidence-based Practice and Informatics. 3 Units.

Explores nursing research and information management as the foundation for evidence-based practice, clinical and organizational decision-making and the improvement of outcomes in health care. Prerequisite: Admission in the ELMSN program or instructor permission.

NURS 214. Mental Health Nursing. 5 Units.

Introduction to mental health nursing services and nurse-person and nurse-group communication patterns.  Focus is on interdisciplinary collaboration, teaching-learning, therapeutic communication, and change-persistence patterns with health promotion, disease prevention, and care of individuals, families, and communities of diverse cultural backgrounds with acute and chronic mental health conditions.  Nursing services with special populations, including the homeless and issues regarding abuse, neglect, trauma, and substance abuse are explored. Students will complete supervised clinical practice hours with a clinical faculty member in a mental health setting. Prerequisite: Admission in the ELMSN program or instructor permission.

NURS 216. Nursing of Adults II. 7 Units.

This course focuses on nursing concepts for managing adult clients in acute and critical care settings, emphasizing the use of the nursing process, pathophysiology, and pharmacology. Students apply these principles in assessing, planning, implementing care, and evaluating outcomes. The curriculum integrates research evidence and clinical guidelines with caring principles to provide holistic care, promote health, and advocate for patients in acute and critical conditions. Clinical experiences with a focus on medical/surgical nursing skills are conducted in acute care hospitals and critical care units. Prerequisite: Admission in the ELMSN program or instructor permission.

NURS 218. Maternity and Women's Health. 5 Units.

This course emphasizes applying nursing theory and evidenced based clinical judgment in the care of low and high- risk antepartum, intrapartum, neonatal clients, and families of diverse psychosocial and cultural backgrounds. Family theory, systems theory, developmental theories, and the nursing process serve as an organizing framework for this population of clients. Prerequisite: Admission in the ELMSN program or instructor permission.

NURS 220. Nursing Care of Children. 5 Units.

This course applies nursing theory and uses evidence-based clinical judgment in the care of children and adolescents with acute and chronic illnesses. An additional focus will be on child growth and development, health promotion, health prevention, and family-centered care of diverse populations. Prerequisite: Admission in the ELMSN program or instructor permission.

NURS 222. Evidence-Based Research in Health Care. 3 Units.

The role of the master's prepared nurse in knowledge generation, dissemination, and application within collaborative inter-professional teams is emphasized. Students gain knowledge and skills to critically appraise and analyze research findings to apply the best evidence to improve practice. This course prepares students to find and use evidence to support individual clinical practice and appropriately apply evidence to different population-based settings. This course prepares the student for identifying a topic for their clinical improvement project. Prerequisites: Admission to the ELMSN program or permission by instructor.

NURS 224. Leadership and Management. 3 Units.

This course introduces the leadership roles and management functions of professional registered nurses within the structure of the organization. The management process of planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling provides the structure for the course. Emphasis is given to organizational theory, management theory, and behavioral theory. Accountability for quality assurance in the provision of nursing care, multidisciplinary communication, and collaborative relationships are emphasized. Various modes of inquiry, including the nursing process, problem-solving models, and decision-making tools are utilized for analyzing complex leadership and management problems common to nurse leaders and managers. Prerequisites: Admission to the ELMSN program or permission by instructor.

NURS 226. Quality and Safety and Health Care Improvement. 3 Units.

Quality and safety have emerged to provide an evidence-based focused framework for healthcare improvement for systems, safety, and policy. This course is designed to assist professional nurses to utilize the Model for Healthcare Improvement to diagnose, measure, analyze, change, and lead systems improvements in healthcare. Students, working in groups, will analyze clinical problems in their practice setting and develop an improvement science solution using the Plan Do Study Act (Model for Healthcare Improvement) for innovation to improve practice. Prerequisites: Admission to the ELMSN program or permission by instructor.

NURS 228. Population Health and Applied Epidemiology. 3 Units.

Students will examine individual, collective, environmental, and organizational factors that affect the health of human populations. The focus will include concepts of population assessments for high-risk patients in both acute care and community-based settings. Areas of emphasis will include risk assessment, health promotion, illness prevention, and protection to promote improved management of high acuity clients and populations. Students will use descriptive and analytical approaches to evaluate the distribution of disease within select populations. Interventions for primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention will be explored in the broader context of determinants of health to promote the well-being of individuals and communities. Prerequisites: Admissions to ELMSN program or permission by instructor.

NURS 232. Quality Improvement Project I. 3 Units.

The student will identify a topic (faculty approved) for the clinical improvement project. Students will conduct a comprehensive literature and systematic review of the selected topic. This learning activity will assist the student to focus their project to synthesize previous course work for the ELMSN capstone project. The plan will include the design for the implementation of a quality improvement system's project or an EBP improvement project to improve patient outcomes. Using APA format, a bibliography of resources will be submitted with the project plan. Prerequisites: Admission to ELMSN program or permission by instructor.

NURS 233. Teaching & Learning in Nursing. 6 Units.

Students explore how to plan and carry-out instruction on a nursing topic, creating and adapting meaningful lessons and assessment/evaluation strategies for multiple learning environments and learner characteristics. Considering the diverse learning needs and ethical considerations of different learner groups (e.g., nursing students, staff, and patients/caregivers), students examine how to effectively integrate technology tools and develop lessons encompassing those needs Students will complete 135 hours in clinical/classroom/lab/simulation teaching with a faculty preceptor. Prerequisites: Admission in the ELMSN program or instructor permission.

NURS 236. Advanced Pharmacology. 3 Units.

In this course, students will gain advanced pathophysiologic and pharmacological knowledge of chronic illnesses and management of complex high acuity illnesses that impact our health care systems. Management of diabetes will include a skills practicum of medication management, including CGM, and current diabetic medications to assist clients to better manage their blood glucose. Prerequisites: Admission to ELMSN program or permission by instructor.

NURS 237. Advanced Pathophysiology. 3 Units.

This course focuses on pathophysiology and disruptions in normal body functioning for individuals across the lifespan. In depth theoretical and clinical principles of diseases, as well as health disparities resulting from genetic, environmental, and stress related causes are included. Assessment findings, diagnostic testing and interventions specific to selected health problems are explored to begin development of critical thinking skills for pathophysiologic causes and treatments of given disease processes. Prerequisites: Admission in the ELMSN program or instructor permission.

NURS 238. Public Health Nursing. 5 Units.

This course will explore the theories and concepts of community, public, and global health. This course will investigate the needs of aggregates in the community setting, including promoting health, preventing disease, and restoring the health of population groups; planning for disasters; addressing environmental health problems; and managing information and communication technology. Planning, organization, and delivery of services for populations at risk are tied to Healthy People 2030 goals with an introduction to leadership, political and sociocultural aspects of community, demographic, and epidemiological methods. Communication, collaboration, and teamwork strategies will be explored along with application of evidence-based practice in multiple community and public health experiential learning opportunities. Prerequisites: Admission in the ELMSN program or instructor permission.

NURS 239. Advanced Health Assessment. 3 Units.

This course focuses on comprehensive physical assessment which includes in-depth health history, physical and psychological signs and symptoms, developmental stages, pathophysiologic changes, and psychosocial and cultural characteristics of the clients across the lifespan. Students obtain the practice skills necessary for advanced communication (i.e., clinical interviewing, focused history taking), psychosocial and physical assessment, critical diagnostic reasoning, differential diagnosis, and clinical decision-making through course readings, dialog, discussions, videos, simulations, and practical examinations. This course includes 45 hours of practice experience through digital virtual patient activities simulating a real patient via Shadow Health. Prerequisites: Admission in the ELMSN program or instructor permission.

NURS 242. Advanced Concepts and Clinical Immersion. 5 Units.

Students will complete 200 clinical hours under the guidance of a faculty mentor and program approved preceptor. Students will coordinate clinical days with the preceptor. The course is designed to provide an in-depth clinical experience for students to assist with their transition to professional practice. Prerequisites: Admission to the ELMSN program or permission by instructor.

NURS 248. Quality Improvement Project II. 3 Units.

Using the guidelines for the Clinical Improvement Project, each student will complete a scholarly written paper for their Clinical Improvement Project. In addition, students will complete a poster (conference quality) of their project and present findings to the agency. Dissemination of the student's project findings will be presented at a poster presentation, hosted by the program to faculty, students, and invited members of the health science and graduate school professional community. Prerequisites: Admission to the ELMSN program or permission by instructor.

Upon successful completion of the ELMSN Program, the student will:

a. Apply evidence from nursing and other academic disciplines to inform clinical judgment and promote innovation in nursing practice at diverse healthcare settings.

b. Demonstrate caring in the delivery of competent, holistic, just, person-centered nursing care with cultural humility.

c. Integrate clinical prevention, health promotion, and population health knowledge across healthcare settings in the provision of services for individuals, families, aggregate populations, and communities.

d. Advance scholarship of the profession through the application of nursing knowledge to improve health and transform care.

e. Analyze organizational leadership and systems of care using quality improvement strategies, tools, methods, and performance measures that impact quality and safety outcomes.

f. Demonstrate leadership and communication skills in collaboration across professions to optimize system-based care outcomes.

g. Integrate data obtained from information and healthcare technologies to monitor, manage, and improve the delivery of nursing and healthcare services in accordance with best practices.

h. Participate in analysis of health care policy and advocate for strategies to influence improvement in health and healthcare systems.

i. Formulate a professional identity that reflects nursing’s characteristics and values.

j. Participate in activities and self-reflection that foster personal health, resilience, well-being, lifelong learning, and support the acquisition of nursing expertise and assertion of leadership.