May 20, 2024  
General Catalog 2023-2024 
General Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing - Nurse Practitioner / Primary Care / Family, M.S.

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The school offers a program that leads to a Master of Science degree in Nursing. The purpose of the program is to prepare nurses for advanced practice in the functional role of nurse practitioner. Each graduate of the master’s in nursing program must demonstrate advanced knowledge and skill in physical diagnosis, psychological assessment, and management of health-illness needs in complex client and community systems. The program provides a foundation for doctoral study in nursing.

Clinical Options

Students select the functional role of a nurse practitioner. Any nursing class in the role specialization option area may be canceled because of insufficient enrollment.

Nurse Practitioner/Primary Care/Family

The Nurse Practitioner/Primary Care/Family Option prepares the graduate to provide primary health care to children, the elderly adult, and families. Classroom and clinical experiences focus on health assessment, health maintenance, and promotion, as well as counseling, client education, and management of selected health problems. Practice in rural settings and with clients from diversified cultural backgrounds is emphasized.

The purpose of the Nurse Practitioner/Primary/Family Care option is to prepare nurses as specialists in primary care and to improve the availability, accessibility, and quality of primary care services in the Central San Joaquin Valley.

Policies and Procedures for M.S.N. Admission

Admission Procedures. You must complete two applications for the graduate nursing program.

  1. You must apply to the University by March 1 as a graduate student through
  2. You must also complete a School of Nursing application. Go to and complete the application online.
  3. Complete and submit School of Nursing graduate program written essay.
  4. Have official copies of all transcripts sent to both Nursing CAS and to

Graduate Admissions Office
Joyal Administration Building
5150 N. Maple M/S JA57
Fresno, CA 93740-8026

* All applications, letters of recommendation, transcripts and other supporting documents must be received by BOTH the University and Program by March 1.

Admission Criteria

There are two pathways into the M.S.N. program for individuals with different educational backgrounds: the B.S.N. graduate and the R.N. with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree.

Admission Criteria for B.S.N. Graduates

  1. Admission to California State University, Fresno, Division of Research and Graduate Studies
  2. Baccalaureate degree in nursing from an NLN/CCNE accredited program
  3. Registered nurse license in California
  4. Cumulative GPA of 3.0
  5. Malpractice insurance
  6. An introductory course in statistics
  7. An introductory course in research
  8. A physical assessment course that includes theory and practice; or validation of knowledge and skills for graduates of programs with integrated content
  9. Current BLS certification

Admission Criteria for Registered Nurses with a Baccalaureate Degree in a Field Other Than Nursing

This program is open only to students eligible for admission to graduate standing at California State University, Fresno, who have completed a nursing program in an accredited school, are registered, or eligible for registration as nurses in the state of California and who hold a bachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited university.

For admission to this program, students are required to meet the following criteria in addition to the regular criteria set for admission to the M.S.N. program:

  1. Submission of resume of all past educational and employment experience. Resume should emphasize experience in leadership, community health, research, and writing for publication.
  2. Review of resume by the graduate coordinator of the School of Nursing who establishes nursing courses the student must complete to obtain a background comparable to students graduating with a B.S.N. at California State University, Fresno.
  3. Satisfactory completion of the individualized program established by the coordinator before enrolling in the regular M.S.N. program.
  4. Admission to the Nurse Practitioner/Primary Care/Family program is not guaranteed, and all students must complete an application to the Nurse Practitioner/Primary Care/Family program.

Post-Master’s Certificates

At California State University, Fresno, the post-master’s nurse practitioner certificate is 30 units. Applicants may receive credit toward the certificates for graduate courses taken previously. Typically, the main courses that are requested for credit are the advanced theories and advanced issues courses. In order to request a course substitution, the applicant must submit a copy of the course description, objectives, and assignments for review by the graduate coordinator. At that time, the course of study will be determined with input from the student and school graduate curriculum committee. Students seeking post-master’s certificates are exempt from some coursework and have a shorter program.

Master of Science Degree Requirements

Courses. Under the direction of the graduate coordinator, each student prepares and submits an individually designed program based on the following:

Minimum Total: 40 Units

Facilities. The diverse facilities of the community provide a wide variety of learning opportunities for individualized pursuit of student goals. Graduate and postbaccalaureate students have clinical placements, which are consistent with their career goals.

Preceptor selection for clinical placement in the Nurse Practitioner/Primary Care/Family program is the responsibility of the School of Nursing. The school will gather pertinent information to assist in preceptor identification during the first semester of the program. All preceptors must meet standards for educational and clinical experience as established by the California Board of Registered Nursing and appropriate accrediting bodies. Preceptors must be either a physician or a master’s prepared nurse practitioner.

Graduate Writing Requirement. All students must meet the university’s graduate writing proficiency requirement prior to being advanced to candidacy for the master’s degree. Students fulfill the writing requirement by passing the writing component of NURS 221. Students can obtain additional information regarding the graduate writing requirement in the program’s Graduate Student Handbook.

Thesis and Project. The school offers students the option of writing a thesis or completing a project. Information about the culminating experience is available from an advisor in nursing.

Note: All practicum courses require a minimum of 45 hours of clinical work per unit of credit to meet course objectives.

Advancement to Candidacy. Completion of 9 graduate units with a GPA of 3.0.

Graduate students are responsible for policies and regulations of the Division of Research and Graduate Studies and those specified in the graduate nursing program brochure.

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