Frequently Asked Questions
How is USF different from other Schools of Nursing?
USF places emphasis on helping to develop tomorrow's leaders in the field
of Nursing. Our program will not only help you develop excellent technical
skills, but it will help you expand your awareness of global health care
and the role of Nursing in it. We pride ourselves on preparing our graduates
to continue setting goals for themselves that will take them on to positions
of professional leadership, advanced practice or nursing education.
How academically rigorous is the program?
USF is very academically demanding. However, excellent instruction, student-centered
faculty, and plentiful student support services allow us to maintain a very
high retention rate. Our program requires a rich background in the sciences.
We challenge our students to build on this background because we believe
it is essential in order to empower our graduates not only to succeed in
their profession, but also to excel.
What is the average class size?
Typical nursing classes range from 20 to 35 students. We strive to limit clinical groups to eight students.
Are there separate applications for the University and the School of Nursing?
No. A student need only apply to the university - if you are admitted
to the university, you are also admitted to the School of Nursing.
I applied last year to the BSN program but never attended. Do I have to re-submit all my application materials again?
No. You can submit the University's Re-Application Form along with copies
of any coursework (transcripts) that you have completed since your last application.
There is no application fee required for a re-application. Contact the
Office of Admission to obtain a Re-Application Form.
I am a male - isn't nursing just for women?
Contrary to what you may think, nurses have unlimited opportunities for
career development. Do you want to work in a challenging, fast-paced environment?
Critical care nurses and military nurses have some of the most demanding
and interesting jobs available. Want to be on the cutting edge of science?
Nurse researchers and practitioners often have opportunities to employ the
latest medical technologies. Interested in a career in business that incorporates
your desire to improve patient quality of life? Consider our joint MSN/MBA.
Need to work different shifts to spend time youčre your family? Many nurses
are not constrained by the nine-to-five work shift that others must accept.
male and female, enjoy the amount of time that they can spend with patients
on a daily basis. Nurses can work with any social group in countless settings,
from county general hospitals to private family practices. Nurses become
trusted members of their communities and their patients look to them for
medical advice. Increasingly, doctors and nurses view each other as peers
in the health care field; nurses are respected members of the profession
who bring their own unique experiences to the field.
How much do nurses make?
Nursing salaries vary widely by region of the country, amount of experience,
amount of education, and the type of facility, so keep in mind that these
statistics are only general guidance in helping you to assess options for
your nursing career.
released National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses for 2000, conducted
by the Health Resources and Services Administration, shows that the average
annual salary of full-time Registered Nurses has increased nationally to
$46,782, in California, however, it is $ 68,350.
In addition, many employers offer flexible work schedules, child care, educational benefits, and bonuses.
Can I get health insurance through the university?
All students - graduate and undergraduate, domestic and international
- are eligible to use the University-sponsored student insurance plan and
the student health clinic at St. Mary's Medical Center. The available plan
is an accident and sickness plan - with a cost of approximately $ 600 per
year and the plan runs August -August.
For more information, please contact the Student Health Insurance Office at 415/422.6809.
What is the Faculty-to-student ratio?
The average faculty-to-student ratio within the School of Nursing is 1 to 10.
Who will be my Faculty Advisor? What are the Faculty members like?
Upon entering USF, each student is assigned an advisor within the School
of Nursing from the members of the full-time faculty. You may change your
advisor at any time simply by making a request through the Dean's office.
is comprised of dedicated nursing professionals representing a wide range
of roles. They are all highly student-focused, making themselves available
and approachable to students both in and out of the classroom.
What is this program's NCLEX pass rate?
The NCLEX pass rate for graduates of USF for the 2001-2002 academic year was 95.45%.
What percentage of your graduates get employed?
100% of our students who seek full-time employment upon graduation are
placed within six months. A large number of our graduates also go on to begin
their graduate studies upon completion of the BSN.
As a transfer student to the BSN program, how long can I expect the program to take?
As the number of credits and level of experience each transfer student
brings are different, it is difficult to universally predict the length of
our program. We have found, however, that students transferring into USF
usually have six semesters remaining in our program.
What pre-requisites do you require for an undergraduate student before they enter their first nursing clinical?
Anatomy, Physiology and Microbiology (both theory and a lab experience) are required as well as a General Psychology course.
When can a transfer student start classes at USF?
Transfer students are admitted to USF and the School of Nursing in both the fall and spring semesters.
What options do you offer for graduate study?
The School of Nursing at USF currently offers the following advanced degree options for both the current RN and the non-nurse seeking direct entry into the field - via our Master's Entry Option degree program.
Advanced Practice Nursing (MSN)
Adult Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist
Family Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist
Mental Health-Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner/Clinical Nurse Specialist
Clinical Systems Management- Case Management (MSN)
Business Administration (MSN-MBA)
Nursing Informatics (MSN-MSIS)
Public Health Administration (MSN-MPA)
What is the difference between an Adult, Family and Mental Health/Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner?
NPs specializing in adult health may work in a wide range of health care
settings including: hospitals, long-term care facilities, health care agencies,
doctors' offices and community-based settings. They focus on health promotion
and disease prevention beginning in early adulthood and continuing throughout
the aging process, and are trained to diagnose and develop treatment plans
for acute and chronic diseases.
Working in a wide variety of health care settings including clinics, community-based
settings, long-term care facilities, and hospitals, FNPs are also trained
to provide a wide range of care to a diverse group of patients. They focus
on health promotion and disease prevention beginning in childhood and continuing
throughout the aging process, and are trained to diagnose and develop treatment
plans for acute and chronic diseases. They are also capable of providing
specialty care such as gynecological and perinatal care.
Mental Health/Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners work in primary care facilities
as well as in hospitals and community health centers to evaluate and provide
care for patients who have psychiatric disorders as well as medical conditions
or substance abuse problems. Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioners
provide psychosocial and physical assessment of their patients, come up with
treatment plans, and provide continued management of their care. They may
also serve as consultants or as educators for families and staff.
How many clinical hours are required in your graduate programs?
Students in any of the Advanced Practice Nursing tracks must perform minimally
675 clinical hours - of which at least 80 hours are specific to the Clinical
Nurse Specialist role.
Students in the Clinical Systems Management route must perform minimally 270 hours in role development and implementation.
I just graduated from my BSN - do you recommend that I go immediately into graduate study?
The School of Nursing does not take a specific stance on whether it is
best to enter graduate school immediately upon graduation or to gain workplace
experience first. We believe that such a decision should be made after considering
a broad range of criteria, including career goals, personal resources, and
personal philosophy. While no one can make this decision for you, we do provide
a highly supportive environment in which to weigh the options and make the
best decision possible.
I have an undergraduate degree in another field but I want to go into nursing. Do you have a program for me?
The School of Nursing offers students with at least a bachelor's degree two options: 1) a Second Degree BSN, which focuses on the RN licensure alone and 2) the Master's Entry Option
degree program which combines RN licensure with an advanced credential such
as Advanced Practice Nursing which offers both the Nurse Practitioner and
Clinical Nurse Specialist credentials. The second degree BSN is a more traditional
model and would take 6 semesters or 36 months to complete, whereas the Master's
Entry Option degree program is accelerated and will take between 26 to 30
months to complete depending on speciality area. Students are eligible to
take the State Boards in the MEO program at the end of the first 17 months.
Students in the second degree BSN program take the State Boards at the end
of the program.
Do I get a BSN and a MSN degree within the Master's Entry Option degree program?
The Master's Entry Option degree program does not award the Bachelor of
Science in Nursing at the completion of your pre-licensure coursework. Applicants
are required to have a baccalaureate degree in another discipline prior to
enrollment in this program. This previous bachelor's work alleviates the
need for a BSN. Instead, students study for 17 months in preparation for
the registered nurse licensure examination. Upon successful passage of this
examination, students are then ready to move into the Master of Science specialty
phase of their program which will take between 9 to 12 months to complete.
Students are then awarded the MSN degree at the completion of this second
When should I apply to the M.E.O. program and how competitive is admission?
Applications are accepted for the Master's Entry Option degree program (for the non-nurse) on a rolling admission basis and until the class is filled.
The program begins each May. Applications received after a class is filled
will then be reviewed for the next available cohort.
Admission to this program is HIGHLY Selective/Competitive as we tend to receive a large number of applications for an extremely limited number of slots.
I am interested
in your graduate degree program but I think I have less than a 3.0 grade
point average from my undergraduate degree?
Admission to a graduate program at USF is more than just the sum total
of your standardized test scores and grade point average. Each program within
the School of Nursing utilizes your comprehensive package of admission materials
to determine whether our programs are a good match for your qualifications
and goals. Although tests and grades are important, research interests, employment
history, and the statement of goals are also essential in the process of
deciding admission to our graduate programs.
What is Nursing Informatics?
Like any knowledge-intensive field these days, nursing is greatly impacted
by the explosive growth of computers. Nursing Informatics is a broad ranging
field that combines nursing skills with computer expertise. Jobs in this
area might include: a nurse programmer who writes or modifies programs for
use by nurses; nurse communicators who work with other nurses to identify
computer system needs or to assist in the training and implementation of
those systems; informatics nurse managers who manage or administer information
systems; or nurse vendor representatives who work for specific vendors to
demonstrate systems to potential customers.
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