San Francisco State University Nursing School Review

San Francisco State University (SFSU) was founded in 1899 as a two year teaching college. Today the university has more than 30,000 students enrolled.

Nursing Programs

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

The San Francisco State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs are offered at both the San Francisco campus and the Sequoia Health District, which is located at Cañada College and operated in conjunction with Sequoia Hospital.

Applicants to the nursing program must be either current students at SF State or transfer students. To be eligible to apply to the program, students must be eligible to apply to SF State, California residents, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, have at least a C or better in nursing prerequisite courses, complete the general education classes for the University, and submit their Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) scores.

The nursing prerequisites include courses in Microbiology, Physiology, Anatomy, Chemistry, Math, Nutrition, and Psychology.

Students who already have their RN license and want to complete their bachelor’s degree may apply for the Advanced Placement Option (APO) in the program. The APO will give students some academic credit for courses already taken, and offers flexibility in scheduling for nurses that are currently working. This course of study may be completed while going to school full time or part time. The length of time this option takes is variable depending on the student, but it can be completed in as little as a year and a half of full time study.

To gain credit for courses already taken, students will take challenge exams. Challenge exams are given at the start of the semester when the course will be taught. If a student passes the exam, they will receive credit for the course, but if they don’t pass, they must then take the course.

Master of Science in Nursing(MSN)

The Master of Science program in nursing is open to all RNs that hold bachelor’s degrees and can show they have completed the equivalent of all nursing content in the SF State Bachelor of Nursing program.

RNs who do not hold a bachelor’s degree may have to take additional courses through SF State and the partnering hospitals to meet the requirements and enter the program.

Students who hold a bachelor’s degree but are not RNs may enter the general Master of Science program and take the classroom and clinical courses required of the nursing undergrad students, which will usually take about five semesters. After completing those courses, students must sit for the national licensing exam (NCLEX-RN) to become RNs. Students must hold an RN license to be able to continue with graduate level nursing studies and earn a Master’s Degree.

Students in this graduate program may take extra courses for an emphasis as a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) with certification by the California Board of Registered Nursing, or an emphasis in Nursing Administration or in Community/Public Health Nursing.

Master of Science in Nursing: Concentration in Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

The FNP concentration requires an additional 600 hours of clinical work and 19 units of classroom courses beyond the normal master’s program, and prepares the nurse for primary care practice.

Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate

The FNP Certificate is a post-graduate program for RNs with master’s and doctoral degrees. Candidates who complete this course of study are deemed to have met all licensure requirements to be family nurse practitioners as set by the California Board of Registered Nursing. This certificate is also recognized by professional organizations as certifying that national certification exam requirements have been met.


San Francisco State University

1600 Holloway Avenue

San Francisco CA 94132

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