What degree will I earn if I graduate from the MECN program?

You will graduate with a Master of Science in Nursing degree.

When would I take the exam to become an RN (registered nurse)?

After graduation you will be able to sit for the NCLEX (National Council Licensing Exam) to be licensed as a registered nurse (RN).

What other certifications will I be qualified for?

You will be qualified to take the examination for certification as a Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) after completion of coursework at the end of the second year. The examination is offered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). You also will be qualified to apply for certification as a Public Health Nurse through the State of California Board of Registered Nursing upon completion of the program.

What is the advantage of completing the MECN program at UCLA?

By completing this program you will not only obtain a master's degree, but also you will qualify for CNL and public health certification. Master's prepared entry level nurses with additional certifications are highly valued in the employment arena. The clinical experiences in this program allow the students to work with master's prepared clinical instructors at our affiliated hospitals. This model allows the student to work closely with a hospital-based employee who has a wealth of knowledge to share about patient care and the healthcare organization.

What kind of job will I get when I finish this program?

You will most likely first obtain a job as a staff nurse at a hospital or other clinical setting. However, your education in health systems and organizations, policy, quality improvement, and the application of research to practice which are part of the CNL curriculum will help you move toward a leadership role.

Since I would earn a master's degree in this program, does that mean I could be a nurse practitioner?

No. This program prepares you to be a nurse generalist, that is, a nurse at the bedside. A nurse practitioner is considered to be an advanced practice role; therefore, the course of study to prepare you as a nurse practitioner is a separate two-year program that requires Registered Nurse (RN) licensure prior to entry. The faculty recommends that MECN graduates practice nursing for at least one year before applying to an advanced practice program.

Can I pursue a PhD after I complete the MECN program?

Yes. MECN graduates are encouraged to apply to our PhD program.

Is the GRE required for admission?

The GRE is only required for application to the PhD program.

Is there an interview process?

We do not conduct interviews at this time. The statement of purpose is considered your written interview. You need to clearly articulate why you want to be a nurse and why the MECN program at UCLA will help you meet your goals. For this reason, your statement of purpose will be given a great deal of consideration.

Do I need to complete the prerequisites before I apply?

All applicants to the MECN program must complete the approved prerequisite courses (other than Epidemiology) by the end of December for the following Fall entry.

What do I do if I have taken a prerequisite course that does not appear on one of the approved lists (see prerequisites page)?

If the class you have taken or plan to take does not appear on one of our lists of approved prerequisites, you must submit a detailed course description or syllabus with your application. The course description or syllabus will be evaluated by the School of Nursing.

How many students do you admit every year?

We admit 70 students each fall. Typically we receive 500 applications for this program and the applicant pool is competitive.  For this reason you may want to apply to more than one nursing school. Given the competitive applicant pool, you should take the time to submit a thorough and complete application and statement of purpose that will represent you well.

Can I reapply if I am not admitted this year?

Yes. We will keep your application materials for three years. We can reuse the transcripts the following year, but you will need to send updated transcripts if you have completed any courses since your last submission.  You will have to submit a new application, statement of purpose, resume and letters of recommendation.

Do you offer the MECN program part-time or online?

No. This is a full-time program taught on the UCLA campus. Clinical experiences will be provided at our affiliated hospitals.

How many days a week will I take classes? How many days a week will I attend clinical rotations?

At this time, you should expect to be either in class or in the clinical setting four to five days a week, which may include evenings and Saturdays. The scheduled time for your clinical experience will depend upon both the work schedule of your clinical instructor and the availability of the site.

Where do clinical experiences take place?

Currently we have clinical partnerships with Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Mattel Children's Hospital at UCLA, Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA, Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, St. John's Health Center, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, VA-West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and Good Samaritan Hospital Los Angeles. You may be assigned to complete your clinical rotations at different hospitals from among our affiliates to provide a variety of clinical experiences.

Can I work while I am in this program?

Graduate study requires a great deal of time and effort to assure academic success. Obviously it is optimal to devote all of your time and energy to your nursing education. While many of our students choose to continue to work full- or part-time in the first two quarters, it will be difficult to do so once the clinical rotations begin because clinical rotations may include days, evenings or weekends and will take priority over your work schedule. You should consider your financial situation before starting a graduate program.

How do I get financial aid?

You may apply for University Fellowships at the time that you make application to the UCLA Graduate Division. You must apply at the beginning of November. Applicants are encouraged to complete the FAFSA by the deadline at the beginning of March. Once you are admitted to the program, we will send you additional information about how to apply for merit or need-based scholarships and awards. These scholarships are competitive, so you may need to consider financing some of your education with federal loans.