University of San Diego Nursing School Review

The University of San Diego (USD) is a Catholic school that was formed in 1972 when the College of Women and College of Men merged. The school has 7800 students and has six academic divisions, including the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science.

Nursing Programs

Health Care Informatics

Health Care Informatics is the process of automating, organizing, and improving information transmission to improve health care. It means computerized patient records, electronic transmission of lab results, and increasing accuracy and speed of medical care while decreasing costs and errors, thereby improving overall medical care.

Health Care Informatics has three programs:

  • Certificate in Health Care Informatics – students apply through the Office of Professional and Continuing Studies, and must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, basic information management skills, and an understanding of MS Office products
  • Master of Science in Health Care Informatics – students must meet the requirements for the Certificate program, and submit an application for the program, as well as take Statistics, have a GPA of at least 3.0, one year of work experience, three recommendations, a resume, and an interview
  • Master of Science in Nursing Health Care Informatics – students must have met the requirements for the Certificate and Master of Science programs, and must have a current Registered Nurse (RN) license in California

Masters Entry Program in Nursing (MEPN) for non-RNs

This program is for students seeking a new career in nursing, that have a bachelor’s degree or higher in a non-related field. Graduates will receive a clinical nursing master’s degree and will meet the criteria to sit for the state RN licensing exam. They will also have met the requirements to take the Clinical Nurse Leader certificate examination.

To apply to the program, students must complete the application, have a bachelor’s (or higher) degree from an accredited college with a GPA of at least 3.0, be computer literate, have three references, a resume, at least 100 hours of health care related volunteer work, have taken the GRE, and have completed the prerequisite courses with at least a B in the science classes. The prerequisite courses are Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Psychology, Cultural Anthropology, English Composition, Speech, Statistics, and Nutrition.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The MSN program is structured to build upon a student’s existing nursing knowledge and focus on theory, research, and practice. Emphasis areas are offered in:

  • Health Care Informatics
  • Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Executive Nurse Leader
  • Clinical Nursing
  • Family/Lifespan Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Dual Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Dual Pediatric Nurse Practitioner/Family Nurse Practitioner

In addition, the MSN program has the options of Latino Health Care, Nursing Education, and Mind-Body-Spirit Health Care.

Applying to the MSN program involves submitting the application, resume, letters of reference, and official transcripts. Students must have graduated from an accredited school with a minimum 3.0 GPA, have a current RN license, and complete an interview.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Nursing

The PhD program is designed for nurses who wish to follow a career in research. It has three routes to achieving a degree: BSN to PhD, post-MSN PhD, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) to PhD.

The BSN to PhD program is an accelerated program for nurses with a bachelor’s degree. Students may pursue an emphasis in Executive Nurse Leadership, or Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist.

With the post-MSN PhD, students with a master’s degree in nursing may pursue a concentration in clinical nursing research, knowledge transmission, or executive leadership.

The DNP to PhD program is for nurses who have completed their DNP degree and wish to also obtain their PhD. This is an individual, custom-designed program.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

The DNP program is designed for nurses in advanced practice who wish to take on a leadership role in nursing. The DNP program can be entered by students either after completing their BSN degree or their MSN degree.

The options available for BSN graduates who wish to pursue their DNP degree are:

  • Family
  • Dual Pediatric/Family
  • Dual Adult/ Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Family/Lifespan Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Adult-Gerontology as a Clinical Nurse Specialist

International Programs

The Hahn School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers nursing students the opportunity to gain international awareness and provide competent, evidence-based health care to vulnerable populations around the globe. Students have been participating in these clinical research missions since 2003 in various parts of the world.


University of San Diego

5998 Alcalá Park

San Diego, CA 92110

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