Samuel Merritt University (SMU)

Samuel Merritt University (SMU) School of Nursing has graduated more Registered Nurses than any other school of nursing within the state of California. Students Schools Scholarships

Last Update:
(0 reviews)
  • Accreditations CCNE Accredited COA Accredited
  • Location Oakland, California
  • Programs BSN, DNP, MSN, RN-to-MSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN-to-DNP, CRNA, NP, Post-grad Certificate, Other
  • Visit Website Click For More Information!

Samuel Merritt University (SMU), founded in 1909, is a private, non-profit, fully accredited health sciences institution.


Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)


Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program is for a student who has completed a bachelor's degree in another field and now is interested in becoming a Registered Nurse (RN).

Length of program: 12 months, five terms

This is an on-campus program located on the Oakland, Sacramento and San Francisco Peninsula in San Mateo campuses.


Samuel Merritt University Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is for students who do not have a degree, but would like to become an RN.

Length of program: 2 years, four semesters

Students applying to this program have all pre-requisites completed.


This program is for the registered nurse who is interested in going back to school to obtain a BSN.

Admission requirements for RN-BSN program (not all inclusive):

  1. An Associate Degree in Nursing
  2. 70 transferable semester credits
  3. Minimum recommended GPA of 2.5 (4-point scale)
  4. An unencumbered CA RN license
  5. Employed as a Registered Nurse
  6. Two letters of recommendation


Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELMSN)

The ELMSN program is for students who have a bachelor's degree in another field, but would like to obtain a graduate degree in nursing. Two career paths are available: Case Management (CM) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP).

Students enrolled in this program learn in a three-section technique: the RN or pre-licensure sections, the FNP section, and the CM section. The RN study for the program does not come until four semesters into the program.  FNP and CM share pre-licensure curriculums in semesters one through four. This is full-time without an option for part-time.

Specialty Tracks

Case Management

Case Management has a broad scope of practice, giving the nurse the option to work in a variety of different settings. Case Managers emphasize three P's: patient, provider and/or payer.

Length of program: 7 semesters, including summers, full time. Part time may begin after the fourth semester.

Family Nurse Practitioner

Samuel Merritt University offers two Family Nurse Practitioner programs for nurses who already have a BSN or MSN (MSN and DNP).

The ELMSN and MSN Hybrid program classes are scheduled on evenings and weekends while the MSN Online program classes are fully online. Students completing the track are awarded a Master of Science in Nursing degree and are eligible for state and national certification.

This program begins with the courses that assist the student in becoming a registered nurse in the state of California.  After the fifth semester, the student works for one semester as an RN, then coursework resumes.  The length of the program is 10 semesters, including three summers.  Full-time is required the first five semesters.

NOTE: Beginning in the Summer of 2018, Samuel Merritt University will only offer the MSN-FNP in an online format. The DNP-FNP program will be offered in a hybrid format on the Oakland and Sacramento campuses. 

Master of Science in Nursing (Post Professional)

  • Case Management
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist
  • Family Nurse Practitioner

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

The Program of Nurse Anesthesia provides a Master of Science in Nursing degree to those who are specializing in becoming a nurse anesthetist. The focus is to learn to provide anesthesia to a diverse population of patients.  

Admissions Review Process (not all inclusive):

  1. Most recent 60 semester/90 quarter unit GPA = 3.0 or higher
  2. Overall GPA (all colleges/universities attended) = 3.0 or higher
  3. Minimum combined GRE score = 290 combined or higher
  4. One year critical care experience
  5. 66 credit hours total for the program at a full time status

There will be a conducted interview with those who are applying for admission into the program. Included in the interview, faculty will:

  • Ask about your knowledge of the university
  • Ask why did you choose CRNA and what you know about the profession
  • Look for professionalism
  • Ask if you have had any shadowing experience

The program accepts 25-28 students at a time with a 15-student waitlist.

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

In 2011, the Samuel Merritt University's Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree program was established with new models for education and practice for genetics, environmental health, care of diverse populations, and global health.  

This is an online format with the exception of going to the campus for a face-to-face three-day session.

Length of program:  two-year period for full-time students and 36 semester units with Post-Master's DNP.  The program is 3.5 years in length and 79 semester units. 1000 clinical hours are needed.

Certificate in Orthopedic Primary Care

Advanced practice nurses can become certified in Orthopedic Primary Care.  Length of program: 10 unit, two-semester program.


SMU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) has accredited the baccalaureate degree in nursing, master's degree in nursing, and doctor of nursing practice programs.

The Program of Nurse Anesthesia is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA).


US News & World Report (2018)

  • #31 (tie) in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs
  • #18 (tie) in Nursing-Anesthesia

SMU has been ranked #1 for Highest Undergraduate Salaries in CA by Colleges Scorecard (2017).

2018 NCLEX Pass Rates

BSN:  93.77%

MSN: 91.18%

User Feedback

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In

There are no reviews to display.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X