Master of Science — Nurse Practitioner Track Degree Program
The Master of Science — Nurse Practitioner Track Degree Program prepares graduates to deliver care as nurse practitioners. In alignment with the school's vision to advance health, a primary goal of the nurse practitioner program is to improve the availability of culturally relevant primary care to underserved populations and educate clinicians to deliver care as a member of a health-care team.
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses who are prepared, through advanced education and clinical training, to provide a wide range of preventive and acute health care services to individuals of all ages. Nurse practitioners complete graduate-level education that leads to a master's degree. Nurse practitioners take health histories and provide complete physical examinations, diagnose and treat many common acute and chronic problems, interpret laboratory results and X-rays, prescribe and manage medications and other therapies, provide health teaching and supportive counseling with an emphasis on prevention of illness and health maintenance, and refer patients to other health professionals as needed.
The Master of Science — Nurse Practitioner Track program is led by the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate Group, an interprofessional collection of more than 40 faculty from disciplines such as nursing, medicine, health informatics, nutrition, biostatistics, pharmacy, sociology and public health.
The Nurse Practitioner Track is a full-time, professional degree program that includes academic courses, clinical skills courses and supervised clinical practice. Academic courses provide a broad education that includes advanced skills in understanding complex problems and generating solutions, how health systems and health care works, how to improve quality, how to lead teams and business aspects of care including informatics and reimbursement.
Graduates are prepared to work as leaders of health-care teams and learn methods to continually critique and improve their care, provide care that is evidence-based, and to establish systems of care to address population health. All students must take core academic courses and complete a thesis as well as 720 hours of supervised clinical practice.
Master of Science students take core courses plus electives and must complete a thesis. This is a 24-month program. Core courses are offered summer, fall, winter and spring quarters. A mandatory Leadership Immersion Week serves as an orientation for students. This full-time, four-day experience runs Monday through Thursday the week before fall quarter begins. Throughout the week, students experience nursing leadership, team building and develop faculty relationships. The coursework provided that week serves as the foundation for the Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership Graduate program curriculum.
- Current registered nurse (R.N.) licensure
- A bachelor’s degree in nursing or a related field
- A minimum undergraduate G.P.A. of 3.0
- A minimum 2.7 G.P.A. in all science prerequisite coursework
- Statement of purpose, personal-history statement, research interests and future goals
- The application process may require an interview
- The G.R.E. is not required
Admission is competitive. Students applying for the M.S. — Nurse Practitioner Track must complete a Centralized Application System for Physician Assistants (CASPA) application and meet selection criteria. Following that process, a select pool of qualified applicants will receive an invitation to apply for UC Davis graduate admissions. All invited applicants must meet UC Davis graduate admissions requirements. Applications are now closed for summer 2014 classes. Online applications for summer 2015 will open in spring 2014, please check back for details. Click here for more on the application process.
Degree program requirements
- Full-time enrollment (at least 12 units per quarter) is required
- Required courses for the master’s-degree program include a combination of core courses and electives.
- A master’s thesis is required
- Nurse practitioner track students are expected to complete the program in 24 months
Nurse practitioner prerequisites
All prerequisites are required at the college level from an accredited school and must be included on the submitted transcript as part of the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) application process. Each prerequisite is expected to be one full course, either a quarter or a semester, depending on the location where it was completed. Completion of prerequisite course work online is acceptable; however, prerequisite course work with a lab component must be completed in-person, at an accredited academic institution. No online lab work is acceptable. Advanced Placement Scores awarded in high school are NOT accepted to fulfill prerequisites.
- One course in human anatomy with lab — completed within five years of application deadlin.
(NOTE: Mammalian and/or animal anatomy will not fulfill this requirement.)
- One course in human physiology with lab — completed within five years of application deadline.
(NOTE: Nurses with more than five years recent direct patient-care experience may meet the anatomy and physiology requirement above by completing a combined human anatomy and physiology (AP I & II with labs) refresher as long as it is completed in consecutive sessions over one year at the same college. Mammalian and/or animal physiology will not fulfill this requirement.)
- One course in general chemistry with lab.
(NOTE: Seminar courses will not fulfill this requirement.)
- One course in microbiology or bacteriology with lab
- One course in algebra, calculus or statistics (basic or advanced)
- One course in English composition
- Two courses in social sciences. Ideal courses provide exposure to human or organizational behavior — such as psychology, sociology, ethnic studies, women’s studies or cultural anthropology.
(NOTE: Social science courses may be completed in two different subject areas, or within the same subject area.)
Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Studies Dual-Track Program option
Nurse practitioner students at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing can simultaneously prepare for both the nurse practitioner and physician assistant professions through the unique Master of Science– Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Dual-Track Program. This dual-track program is the only one in the nation where nurses are prepared to work as both nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Click here to learn more.