College and Schools / School of Nursing

History and Accreditation

In 1949, the Regents of the University of California authorized the School of Nursing as one of the professional schools of the UCLA Center for 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 (BS) degree. In 1997, the original traditional BS program curriculum was revised 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 BS program with admission at the freshman level. In 2010, the BS (Generic/Prelicensure) program was renamed to the BS (Prelicensure) program.

In 1951, a graduate program leading to the Master of Science (MS) degree in Nursing was established to prepare baccalaureate graduates for advanced practice nursing roles. In 1966, the Master of Nursing (MN) degree was established as an alternate to the MS degree, which was discontinued in 1969. In 1996, the master’s degree designation was changed from MN to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), which is still awarded to graduates prepared as nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists. In 2006, the school launched the master’s entry clinical nurse (MECN)/prelicensure option within the MSN degree program, which is designed for prelicensure students with bachelor’s degrees or higher education in another discipline.

In 1986, the Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc) degree program was approved, and in 1987 the first doctoral students were admitted. In 1995, the doctorate degree designation was changed from DNSc to PhD in Nursing. In 2013, an en-route MS option was established within the existing PhD program. In 2015, UCLA approved conversion of the DNSc degree to a PhD for former DNSc graduates.

In 2018, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program was approved. Graduates of the DNP program will be the leaders for the translation of research into practice. The DNP degree is designed to meet the dynamic needs of the national health care system to improve quality of care, promote patient safety, and reduce cost.

The prelicensure (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 longest award period that can be granted.