MSN – Masters Entry Clinical Nurse (MECN)


Two of our MECN students, Brandon Rice and Patrick Hill, were former football players.  Read about their path to nursing.

Program Description

The MECN program leads to:

The UCLA School of Nursing has an option within the Master of Science in Nursing degree program that is designed to prepare individuals with a baccalaureate degree in another discipline for a career in nursing. This two-year pre-licensure program includes summer enrollment between the first and second years.  Those who complete the program are granted the Master in Science in Nursing (MSN) degree and are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) to be licensed as registered nurses (RN). They are then prepared to practice nursing at the bedside in a hospital setting. Graduates of the program are also qualified to take the Clinical Nurse Leader certification exam given by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and may apply for a Public Health Nursing Certificate from the California Board of Registered Nursing.

After completing the MECN/prelicensure M.S.N. degree program, graduates are able to complete the following objectives:

  1. Select, evaluate, and apply, in an acute hospital and a variety of other settings, basic and advanced theoretical knowledge of core concepts, including advanced leadership and healthcare systems to the nursing process in order to deliver health care to clients from ethnically diverse cultural backgrounds.
  2. Analyze health problems at a unit, aggregate (community), and systems level and develop nursing interventions that balance the health needs at the unit and cohort levels.
  3. Demonstrate effective communication and collaboration skills with clients, research participants, other health professionals, colle.agues, and policymakers.
  4. Evaluate existing nursing and healthcare systems research, apply findings to nursing practice, and participate in the development of new knowledge.
  5. Demonstrate leadership and system skills and critical thinking that contribute to the effectiveness and efficiency of nursing and health care.
  6. Practice hospital- and community-based nursing based on the principles of ethics and law.
  7. Participate in professional and community organizations and/or interest groups relevant to healthcare delivery and modify nursing standards and practices in keeping with current trends.

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role is an emerging role being developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The Clinical Nurse Leader is a master's-prepared advanced nurse generalist who oversees the care of patients on specific hospital units. While CNL's may provide direct care to the patient, typically they use their knowledge of current nursing research evidence to determine the best plan of care for patients on a specific unit. CNL's collaborate with the nurses and physicians and others, such as pharmacists, social workers, advanced practice nurses, and clinical nurse specialists, to determine the plan of care that will achieve the best possible health outcomes for patients. The CNL is an advanced nurse generalist, a role distinct from those of the nurse practitioner and the clinical nurse specialist who are educated as advanced specialists in a particular area.

Conceptually, the MECN program has been developed according to the principles of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention; moving from a systems, population-based approach to a cohort-based or unit-based perspective, and culminating with an intense focus on the individual-level of care. Course offerings address the core concepts of health promotion, risk reduction, ethical and social justice issues, informatics, research utilization, primary, secondary and tertiary prevention, mental health, public health, systems theory and health care policy, and advanced research and population-based quality of practice. Supervised practica are designed to apply knowledge in a variety of health-related settings including traditional, inpatient acute care settings, as well as ambulatory care, public health, managed care and HMO (health-maintenance organizations) offices. These practica occur in direct patient care environments, as well as in departments addressing healthcare outcomes, risk management, quality improvement, and research. In the final quarter, students complete a clinical immersion experience in a nursing setting where they also complete a clinical nurse leadership project. 

Clinical practica are conducted with our clinical partners at various hospitals in the community, such as Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, the VA-West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital Los Angeles, Northridge Hospital Medical Center, St. John's Health Center and Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Graduates of our program have taken nursing positions with our clinical partners and at other hospitals throughout the United States.

Immediately following graduation, MECN graduates will take nursing positions at the bedside in order to hone their nursing skills. It is envisioned that they will move toward leadership roles in nursing.

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