Holy Names University Nursing School Review

Holy Names University (HNU) can trace its roots back to 1868, when a teaching order of nuns arrived in California to establish a school for girls and train teachers. It remained an all-female school until 1955, when it admitted males into its newly established Graduate Division. The rest of the college followed suit and became coed in 1971.

The University today is committed to meeting the needs of working adults by offering unconventional and innovative degree completion programs, such as a three-year bachelors degree. Holy Names University has been offering nursing education since 1957.

Undergraduate Nursing Programs

Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN)

Students with no prior nursing experience will take their first two years of general courses at Holy Names University. If they have a GPA of at least 3.00, they can then transfer to Samuel Merritt University (SMU) where they will study nursing for two years. Their BSN degree will be awarded by SMU.

Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN

The RN to BSN program is designed for working RNs to pursue their BSN at their own pace. The evening courses are available online at home or via interactive video feeds at hospitals throughout the state. Because of the nature of the program, the amount of time it takes to complete this degree depends on the student.

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) to BSN

Another program for those already working in healthcare, the LVN to BSN program has courses that are held on campus and scheduled for late afternoons and evenings. This program is year round (Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters) and takes two and a half years of continuous study to complete.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Degrees

The MSN programs at Holy Names University have a unique schedule designed for working adults. Courses are offered once a month on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

MSN/Family Nurse Practitioner

Students must have a BSN before beginning this program. Those who complete this two year program receive their MSN/Family Nurse Practitioner degree and are eligible to apply for the California FNP license. They are also able to apply for the furnishing license which gives nurses the ability to prescribe medications and diagnose patients on their own, without a physician.

An RN that has a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field can enter the MSN/Family Nurse Practitioner program by completing the Pathway Program with additional nursing courses.

MSN/Clinical Faculty

Those who have a BSN and are interested in becoming clinical faculty with a master’s degree can pursue their MSN/Clinical Faculty degree, a two year program.

If an RN that already has a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field wants to enter the MSN/Clinical Faculty program, they can do so through the Pathway Program by completing additional nursing courses.

Those who want to become clinical faculty and already have an MSN can complete the MSN/Clinical Faculty option courses and become certified.

MSN with Administration Management

Students wishing to become administrators or managers can opt for the MSN with Administration/Management degree, a two year course of study.

RNs that already have a bachelors degree but in an unrelated field can enter the MSN with Administration Management program through the Pathway Program by completing additional nursing courses.

MSN/Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The MSN/MBA degree program was designed for working RNs. It follows the same monthly class schedule as the other MSN programs, with an additional Saturday morning class during a Summer term. Besides a BSN degree, this program requires the prerequisites of statistics and computer proficiency. This is also a two year program.

RNs who have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field can enter the MSN/MBA program through the Pathway Program, which requires additional nursing courses.

MSN/Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology (MFP)

The MSN/MFP program prepares students to work in forensic mental health nursing, which includes caring for the mental health of incarcerated or paroled patients, as well as crime victims. This program contains additional forensic psychology courses. Because of the unique schedule of the MSN program (listed above) and the fact that the forensic courses are offered online, this is still just a two year program.

An RN that has a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field can enter the MSN/MFP Pathway Program by completing additional nursing courses.

Post Master Certificate Programs

Holy Names University offers Post Master Certificate programs in three of their MSN programs: Family Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Faculty, and Administration Management. For each program, applicants must be an RN and have a masters degree in nursing from an institution accredited either by the National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).


Holy Names University

3500 Mountain Blvd.

Oakland, CA 94619

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