Accelerate and excel in the nursing profession.

University of the Pacific’s Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing degree prepares you for a high-demand career in the fields of population health, quality and safety, and public health nursing. The curriculum includes a diabetes management concentration and inter-professional education across Pacific’s three campuses. Applications are now open for the term beginning in April 2022.

Hands-on experience and internships

Collaborative and interdisciplinary program

State of the art facilities at Pacific’s Sacramento campus 

Program at a Glance


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Why choose a master's degree in nursing?
  • More employment opportunities and competitiveness in the job market
  • Higher-paying positions and greater independence on the job
  • Current nursing shortages in the United States
  • Potential for leadership or mentorship roles
  • Higher clinical expertise and a path toward a doctorate 
students working with a manikin

Mission Statement 

The mission of the Master of Science in Nursing Program at University of the Pacific is to provide students with a superior, competency-based, learner-centered educational experience that will prepare graduate professional nurses to care for individuals, families and populations while engaging in collaborative partnerships to improve patient-centered care and population health outcomes.  

The nursing department fosters a safe and respectful environment that encourages life-long learning for faculty, staff and students. Thus, faculty and staff subscribe to a student-centered environment to position a diverse population of students as active participants in the learning experience.   



  • Prepare competent nursing professionals to deliver patient-centered care and who engage in improving systems of care to improve healthcare outcomes of clients, families and the communities they serve. 
  • Advance the scholarship of nursing. 
  • Lead and collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to address population health needs. 
  • Apply quality improvement principles in care delivery.  
  • Prepare nurse leaders to effectively lead innovation and change across multiple healthcare settings.  


Our Philosophy  

The philosophy of the program is guided by the “Core Concepts for the Professional Nurse.” These concepts have been identified in the newly revised Educational Standards (Domains) for entry-level nurses (BSN, ELM) and graduate nurses MSN and DNP (AACN, April 2021). The membership of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) determines that these professional nursing concepts cannot be found in a unique course but rather are embedded throughout the curriculum as overarching concepts that are essential for the preparation of the professional nurse. Therefore, these concepts serve as a conceptual framework for the program. 



The proposed curriculum incorporates the Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing (AACN, 2011), the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education in Nursing (AACN, 2008) and the state requirements for RN licensing by the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN). 

  • A state-of-the-art clinical skills and simulation center where students gain the knowledge, skills and professional behaviors to be “practice ready” professional nurses
  • “Real life” learning in simulation scenarios using mid-and high fidelity mannikins
  • The “forward thinking” curriculum guided by the new American Association of College of Nursing Educational standards (April 2021)
  • Numerous clinical partnerships within the region to fulfill clinical hours required for licensure as a registered nurse (RN) by the Board of Registered Nursing
  • Inter-professional practice experiences with students in the various health science programs
  • A 180-hour clinical immersion experience with a nurse preceptor in the final trimester
  • A licensure preparation course in the final trimester
Karen Hanford

"The new nursing program will become the ninth health science program within the School of Health Sciences (SHS). Working with other health science students, nursing students will engage in inter-professional practice experiences throughout the program." – Karen Hanford, Founding Director, Pacific MSN Programs

The program is anticipating its official launch in 2022. The director has established a regional advisory board of nurse leaders and experts to assist with planning and the curriculum.


Pacific’s Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing degree is uniquely designed for students who have a BA or BS in a non-nursing degree and have completed all required program prerequisites.


You will work with faculty experts to acquire the skills and knowledge in the Board of Registered Nursing content areas for licensure as a registered nurse (RN) and in graduate core courses. You will also engage with other health science faculty/students in inter-professional education activities.


Our graduates are well-positioned to become leaders and competent nurse clinicians who promote improved patient care outcomes through organizational and systematic change and participate in inter-professional practice with an evidence-based approach. 

Abbott Fund Partnership

Pacific has partnered with the Abbott Fund to combat the diabetes crisis in Stockton. The Abbott Fund Scholars program was created to support aspiring health care professionals who will work with Stockton communities. Qualifying ELMSN students will receive a scholarship for at least 50% of tuition.

abbott msw
Rae Charos
ELMSN Advisory Board

Members of the ELMSN Advisory Board are health care professionals whose focus is on improving health care in underserved communities. They help identify ELMSN faculty candidates, build curriculum relevant to the needs of the health care industry and prepare our students for leadership positions.

“As a native Stocktonian and the Chief Nurse Executive at St. Joseph's Medical Center, it has been my dream to have such an innovative nursing program at Pacific. It gives local residents an opportunity to enter the nursing profession, and it will serve Central Valley communities challenged by nursing shortages. I am very supportive of the program and look forward to working with its graduates!" – Rae E. G. Charos, DNP RN, Vice President and Chief Nurse Officer

  • Zienna Blackwell-Rodriquez, DNP, RN, PHN
    Director, San Joaquin County Public Health Services
  • Rae E. G. Charos, DNP, RN
    Vice-President and Chief Nurse Executive Officer, Dignity Health, St. Joseph's Medical Center
  • Jacquie DeMellow, PhD, RN, CCNS HACP CPHQ 
    Director of Quality, Dignity Health, St. Joseph's Medical Center 
  • Leesa Hooks, RN, BSN, PHN 
    Health Program Manager, County of Sacramento DHS
  • Donna Kistler, MSRN 
    Association of California Nurse Leaders 
  • Ginger Manss, DNP, RN, HACP 
    CNO, Community Medical Centers 
  • Janet Sohal DNP, MSN, BSN/PHN 
    Director, Clinical Education Practice and Informatics Kaiser Sacramento


University of the Pacific

The University of the Pacific is fully accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). WSCUC reaffirmed Institutional Accreditation in June 2019. The next accreditation review is scheduled for 2027.

Nursing Program

The Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing Program has received approval from the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) to begin the program in 2022. Students are now welcome to apply to the ELMSN Program.


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3200 Fifth Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95817