Samuel Merritt University Nursing School Review

Samuel Merritt University (SMU), formerly Samuel Merritt College (SMC), is a private health sciences college in Oakland, California. It was founded in 1909, and currently enrolls 1400 students at the Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, and San Mateo campuses. The university is full accredited, and has degree programs for nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant and podiatric medicine.

Graduates of Samuel Merritt’s programs are recruited heavily, and have a high rate of employment within the first year after graduation.

SMU produces the most new registered nurses each year in California, and its graduates routinely achieve scores on license and certification exams higher than those of the state and national rates.

Nursing Programs

Undergraduate Degrees

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Students looking to enter the BSN program as freshmen will apply to one of SMU’s partnership programs at Holy Names University, Mills College or Saint Mary’s College of California for pre-nursing. Students who complete the 2 years of pre-nursing courses at one of the partnership schools are guaranteed admission to the BSN program at Samuel Merritt University. Those students will enter the university as first semester juniors, and will complete a 4 semester program to earn their BSN.

Samuel Merritt University will also admit transfer students from other community colleges and universities into the BSN program on a limited basis. Transfer students will be admitted as first semester juniors, and will complete the program in 4 semesters.

Accelerated BSN

Samuel Merritt University offers an accelerated BSN program at all of its campuses. This program is aimed at students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing. The accelerated program will be completed in 12 months.

Graduate Degrees

Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELMSN)

ELMSN Case Management

The ELMSN Case Management program prepares students to practice as Case Managers in a variety of facilities and settings. Full time students can complete this program in two calendar years plus one semester. The first four semesters must be taken as full-time students, but students may switch to a part-time schedule after that.

ELMSN Case Management is taught at the Oakland and Sacramento campuses.

ELMSN Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

Registered Nurses (RNs) can take their experience and knowledge to the next level through advanced clinical training and education and become nurse practitioners.

Consideration will be given to ELMSN FNP applicants who have experience as a health care volunteer, worker, or who have worked with a nurse practitioner. Those who speak another language, especially Spanish, will also have consideration. Students also need to demonstrate interest in advanced practice nursing, academic preparation, and commitment to the underserved. Approximately 24 FNP students are admitted each year into this program.

After graduation, students may take the national certification exam through the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) or the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).

Master of Science in Nursing (Post Professional)

Case Management

For full time students, the Post Professional Case Management program is a 2 year (5 semester) program. There is also a part-time program, as well as an online option. This program is offered at the Oakland and Sacramento campuses.

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

The Program of Nurse Anesthesia (PNA) at Samuel Merritt University is offered in partnership with Kaiser Permanente Northern California and is recognized as one of the top programs in the nation for producing highly qualified Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. About 25 students are admitted into the program each year, which runs for 2 calendar years plus one semester (7 semesters total).

Family Nurse Practitioner

The post-graduate FNP track is a combination of coursework and clinical practice. It takes 5 semesters, including summers, to complete it full-time, or 9 semesters including summers when studying part time.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

In keeping with the goals of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National Academy of Science, the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree program was introduced to Samuel Merritt University in 2011.

The DNP is a two year program for those who wish to evaluate data in clinical practice and provides advanced educational credit for those who are not interested in a research-focused degree.


Samuel Merritt University

3100 Telegraph Ave.

Oakland, CA, 94609

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