MSN — Masters Entry Clinical Nurse (MECN)

A Nursing faculty engaging in clinical practice

A Leader with a Fresh Perspective

Program Description

The MECN program leads to:

Key Information

  • The UCLA School of Nursing has an option within the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program that is designed to prepare individuals with a baccalaureate degree in another discipline for a career in nursing.
  • This two-year prelicensure program includes summer enrollment between the first and second years.
  • Those who complete the program are granted the MSN degree and are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX) to be licensed as registered nurses (RN).
  • 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.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Integrate basic and advanced theoretical and scientific knowledge to provide leadership at the micro-, meso- and macro-system levels in healthcare organizations. [Essentials* I, II, VI, VII, VIII, IX; QSEN:** teamwork and collaboration, quality improvement]
  2. Utilize the nursing process to provide safe, therapeutic, evidence-based, patient-centered, culturally-sensitive, nd high quality care. [Essentials I, III, IV, VI, IX; QSEN: patient-centered care, safety, evidence-based practice, quality improvement]
  3. Demonstrate therapeutic communication and collaborative leadership skills using an evidence-based, theory-driven nursing paradigm. [Essentials I, II, VI, VIII, IX; QSEN: teamwork and collaboration, safety]
  4. Apply reliable and valid nursing and healthcare systems research to improve delivery of nursing care. [Essentials II, III, IV, V, VII, IX; QSEN: evidence-based practice, quality improvement]
  5. Lead team-based quality improvement projects to address practice problems and improve patient safety and healthcare outcomes. [Essentials II, III, IV, V, VII; QSEN: teamwork and collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, safety]
  6. Demonstrate leadership, systems and critical thinking skills that contribute to safe, effective and efficient patient-centered care. [Essentials II, III, IV, VI, Vii, IX; QSEN: teamwork and collaboration, safety, quality improvement, evidence-based practice
  7. Integrate ethical and legal principles in safe, patient-centered care in diverse practice settings. [Essentials I, III, IV, IX; QSEN: patient-centered care, safety]
  8. Provide leadership in professional and community organizations and/or advocacy groups to promote standards of care, policies, regulations and initiatives supporting healthy communities, care quality and patient safety. [Essentials II, III, VI, VII; QSEN: Teamwork and collaboration, safety, quality improvement]
  9. Apply a global perspective and systematic approach for health promotion, risk reduction, and disease management in diverse populations. [Essentials I, II, IV, VI, VII; QSEN: quality improvement, teamwork and collaboration]
  10. Provide leadership in development and integration of information management and patient care technology to support clinical decision making. [Essentials II, III, IV, V, IX; QSEN: informatics, evidence-based practice, teamwork and collaboration]

*American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The Essentials of Master's Education in Nursing.

**Quality and Safety Education (QSEN). Graduate QSEN Competencies.

The Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) role was developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to improve systems of care for patients and families. The Clinical Nurse Leader is a master's-prepared advanced nurse generalist who assumes responsibility for patient care outcomes through appraisal, integration and application of evidence-based information to design, implement and evaluate patient care processes and models of care delivery. In addition to providing direct patient care CNLs also collect unit-based, patient outcome data to design better systems of care for a patient population on a specific unit. CNLs collaborate with the healthcare team including physicians, 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 that of the nurse practitioner and the clinical nurse specialist who are prepared as advanced specialists in a particular area (CNL Frequently Asked Questions).

Conceptually, the MECN program applies the principles of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention to the care of individuals, families, populations, and communities. The curriculum introduces a systems-level, population-based approach to care early in the program, alongside an intense focus on individual-level provision of care. Course offerings address the core concepts of patient safety; health promotion; risk reduction; ethics, social justice, and health equity; evidence-based practice, informatics, collaboration and teamwork, mental health, public health, systems theory and health care policy, and advanced research and population-based quality improvement in all age groups.  Supervised clinical experiences are designed to apply knowledge in a variety of health-related settings including traditional, inpatient acute care settings, as well as ambulatory care, and public health.  During the final year, students complete a series of leadership courses and a clinical immersion experience in a hospital 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 CenterSanta Monica UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic HospitalHarbor-UCLA Medical CenterResnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLAMattel Children's Hospital UCLA, the VA-West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, Children's Hospital Los AngelesCedars-Sinai Medical CenterGood Samaritan Hospital Los AngelesNorthridge 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.

Things You Should Know

Cost of Attending the Program/Other Expenses

All UCLA students pay fees as part of the registration and enrollment process.  In addition to these fees, California nonresident students are charged tuition. View the current fee schedule. Students also will be required to pay for background checks and internet-based assessment tests and uniforms (see items below).  Other expenses include housing, books, equipment for clinical, health clearance examination, immunizations and titers, health insurance and transportation.

Background Checks

Once admitted to the nursing program, each student is expected to produce evidence of a clear criminal background check. Background check procedures are discussed at new student orientation, and entering students will be directed at that time to the website of our background check provider. Applicants should note well that a criminal record can preclude their eligibility to work as nurses in the State of California.

Assessment Tests (Kaplan)

At the end of each quarter, students take an internet-based assessment test, known as Kaplan, to measure their proficiency in certain nursing skills. These tests serve as predictors of future success on the NCLEX. The cost of the assessment tests are covered by students and are paid in quarterly sums over the course of the program.

Uniforms

MECN students will be required to purchase uniforms.

Housing

The School of Nursing is allocated a limited number of apartments in Weyburn Terrace. Usually priority for these spaces is given to out-of-state students. Limited space is available also in other university-owned apartments. Students interested in graduate housing should submit the housing request form that arrives with their admission packet as well the online request form to the UCLA Housing Office. For more details about university-owned housing, see the UCLA Housing Office website.

Equipment

MECN students need to purchase a labpack at the beginning of the program. The labpack includes essentials for nursing practice. A stethoscope is purchased separately.

Health Screening for Clinicals

All students entering the nursing school must show documentation of immunizations, blood titers, a negative two-step TB skin test, and a physical examination, as well as current certification of CPR training for healthcare providers. Documentation is due at the beginning of November of the first quarter. View the current fee schedule for services offered through the Arthur Ashe Student Health Center.

Student Health Insurance

All students are required to carry health insurance for the duration of their programs. UCLA Arthur Ashe Health Center offers affordable health coverage to graduate students. This graduate student health insurance plan (GSHIP) includes dental coverage. Students pay for GSHIP each quarter through student fees, unless they choose to waive it. For information about GSHIP visit their website.

Transportation

It is important that students have access to adequate transportation, particularly for traveling to clinical sites. Depending on where they live, some students may find it convenient to take one of the local bus routes to campus. Students wishing to purchase permits to park on campus should plan to apply early, usually before the end of July prior to the start of classes. For bus routes to campus and information about parking permits, see the UCLA Transportation website.

Clinical Rotations

Clinical rotations for MECN students begin in the first winter quarter. Students are assigned to do their clinical experiences with one of our clinical partners each quarter. In addition, students will be required to participate in tours to various county facilities during their course in public health. It is important that students have access to adequate transportation. Days and times of clinical rotations are determined by our clinical partners, and these days and times may include weekends and evenings.

School of Nursing Identification Badges

All entering MECN students will be asked to submit an application for a School of Nursing identification and security badge. These badges will serve as hospital identification and take the place of the Bruincard, the UCLA student identification/library/campus debit card.

Comprehensive Examination

A comprehensive examination is required for all students completing a master's degree and is given in written form during the final Spring Quarter. Students are eligible to take the examination once they are advanced to candidacy and may repeat it twice. Retakes are offered only during Summer and Fall Quarters. Students must complete all requirements for the master's degree within one calendar year after advancement to candidacy.