History of the UCLA School of Nursing

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was founded in 1919 and is one of the world's great research universities, number 11 in the London Time's Higher Education rankings (2010-2011). UCLA, with a student body of about 38,000 students, is the largest university in the state of California.  Our faculty includes Nobel Laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, multiple MacArthur fellows and scores of national academy members. Interdisciplinary teaching and research is a particular strength, with initiatives in the arts, stem cells and other biosciences, nanoscience, international studies and the environment.  The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) is the regional organization that provides umbrella accreditation for UCLA as a whole, through its Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.

In 1949 The Regents of the University of California authorized the School of Nursing as one of the professional schools of the UCLA Centers for the Health Sciences. This action paved the way in 1950 for the opening of an undergraduate traditional program in nursing leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree and made possible the establishment of a graduate program leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Nursing in 1951. In 1966 the Master of Nursing (M.N.) degree was established as an alternate option to the M.S. degree. The M.S. degree program was discontinued in 1969. The Regents approved the Doctor of Nursing Science (D.N.Sc.) degree program in 1986, and in 1987 the first doctoral students were admitted. In 1996 the Office of the President and The Regents approved the change in the master's degree designation from M.N. to Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.); the change in doctoral degree designation from D.N.Sc. to Ph.D. in Nursing was approved in 1995.

The original traditional B.S. program curriculum was revised in 1997 to meet the educational needs of students who are registered nurses with Associate Degrees or diplomas in nursing.

In 2006, the school reinstated a traditional / prelicensure B.S. program with admission at the freshman level and launched the master's entry clinical nurse (MECN)/prelicensure program option within the M.S.N. degree program, which is designed for prelicensure students with bachelor's degrees or higher education in another discipline.

The UCLA School of Nursing is approved by the Undergraduate and Graduate Councils of the Academic Senate of the University of California at Los Angeles.  In addition, the pre-licensure (BS and MECN) and advanced practice master's programs are approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.  In 2011, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited the existing bachelor's and master's degree programs for a term of 10 years, the highest that can be granted.  The University of California, Los Angeles holds Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation.

The UCLA School of Nursing has 605 students including 201 undergraduate students, 404 graduate students, 36 tenured faculty, research faculty and instructors and 49 adjunct faculty and lecturers.  It is a small school within a large research university, giving the dual advantage of personally knowing students while providing them with the best a research university has to offer.

Read more about the first 50 years of the School of Nursing:

History of the UCLA School of Nursing

50th Anniversary Magazine Summer 1999