About the School of Nursing


The San Francisco State University School of Nursing aims to motivate and educate undergraduate and graduate nursing students to meet the healthcare needs of individuals, families, and communities. Faculty has a passion for teaching using a rich variety of educational methods. We embrace the diversity of our student population, and are committed to educating nurses who serve diverse populations with a focus on social and environmental justice, and health equality. Furthermore, we incorporate evidence-based nursing knowledge, ethical decision-making, and sound clinical judgment into our educational paradigm. Using various educational modalities that include state of the art information technologies, students learn how to provide safe, quality patient-centered care. Our students are prepared to adapt to changing healthcare needs and environments and to serve society through civic engagement and lifelong learning.


We foster student growth and development embracing their richly diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, recognizing the individual differences in learning styles and goals, and adapting support systems to help students fulfill their educational goals. Building on a foundation of knowledge from nursing and other disciplines such as psychology, sociology, philosophy and anthropology, graduates of this program will collaborate with other healthcare disciplines (i.e. medicine, physical therapy, psychology, social work, and others) to provide compassionate and ethical care along the health-illness continuum throughout the lifespan. These educational endeavors affect the healthcare environment and positively influence health outcomes of individuals, families, communities and populations. We are committed to professional development of faculty, staff and students using our conceptual model, which guides our academic activities. We provide excellent nursing education and academic activities emphasizing patient-center care, patient safety, teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, informatics, leadership and lifelong learning for the students as well as faculty and staff. The following objectives are based on this philosophy:

  • To provide curricula that reflects human diversity and encourages critical thinking, clinical judgments, and social and cultural awareness
  • To provide a learning environment conducive for students with diverse learning styles and needs
  • To develop clinicians, leaders, advocates and change agents to function in evolving healthcare systems
  • To increase the number of nurses form underrepresented groups in nursing
  • To prepare nurses who support, use and disseminate research in practice
  • To serve the local and global community through faculty and student leadership, consultation research, and clinical practice.

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Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework that provides the academic foundation for the nursing curriculum at the SFSU School of Nursing is based on the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) competencies. These concepts encompass patient-centered care, teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, safety and informatics. This conceptual framework is based on the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs) required to ensure quality care and the safety of clients and families in local and global communities in a variety of healthcare systems.


The undergraduate program has been approved by the Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) since 1956 and was accredited by the National League for Nursing/National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission from 1961 to 2003. In addition, the Baccalaureate degree in Nursing, Master's degree in Nursing and the Family Nurse Practitioner degree at SF State, School of Nursing are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education since 2003. The School of Nursing is a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the California Colleges of Nursing (CACN).

Community Clinical Placements

All students, regardless of chosen emphasis, will complete community health practicums in the pre-licensure phase of the program. In accord with the SF State mission, the School of Nursing is dedicated to the practice of social justice. As a result, we have an unwavering commitment to reducing health disparities in our local communities. To fulfill that commitment, most of our community health practicums are located in underserved San Francisco neighborhoods. While work in these communities may be challenging, we believe that the experience prepares our students to become productive, ethical and active citizens.

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Definitional Guidelines

Although we all have many beliefs and opinions about nursing, nurses share a common definition and adhere to the same professional guidelines. Each U.S. state has a practice act that defines and governs the practice of nursing. The intent of this legislation and the related regulations is to assure the safety of the public. These laws and regulations set the minimum standards deemed necessary to protect the public. In addition, as with other professions, nursing organizations set standards and provide ethical guidelines for the practice of nursing. Although there are many sets of standards and practice guidelines that you will learn about in your program, we have provided you with sections of the nurse practice act for California and the Code of Ethics for nurses as these are fundamental to all that you will do in the profession.