Nurses at the whiteboard

Master of Science in Nursing – Case Management Program

Nurses specializing in case management help coordinate efficient, evidence-based, quality patient care.

Campus Location


  • On Campus

Program Duration

  • 15 Months (4 semesters)

Upcoming Deadlines

Advocate for Your Patients

Samuel Merritt University’s Master of Science in Nursing program offers a case management track. This specialty is ideal for nurses who would like to advance into a leadership position or focus on improving care delivery at the individual, family, or population level.

Nurses specializing in case management help guide patients and their families or caregivers to find and access the most optimal and affordable treatment plan. This process often includes educating patients about their conditions and helping them navigate the health care system. Case managers also advocate for their patients by closely collaborating with care providers and payers.

Nurse case managers may work with a patient during a single visit or provide longer-term services throughout the continuum of care. They may provide services in a variety of health care settings, including:

  • Hospitals

  • Group practices

  • Skilled nursing facilities

  • Public and private health insurance programs and companies

  • Home health agencies

  • Hospice care programs

  • Government-sponsored programs, such as veterans' health care or correctional institutions

With exceptional faculty, personalized attention, state-of-the-art facilities, and hands-on learning and simulation opportunities, SMU’s Master of Science in Nursing—Case Management program prepares you to excel as a nurse case manager.

What we look for:

  • An interest in working with underserved populations
  • Compassion
  • Interpersonal/interprofessional communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Critical thinking
  • Responsible and reliable individuals
  • Individuals who are under-represented in nursing

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Program Requirements & Info

The MSN-Case Management program is designed for nurses who already have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Applicants are considered for admission based upon the following: 

  • Baccalaureate in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Current unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license in state of residence
  • Evidence of recent experience in clinical practice as a registered nurse
  • Goal statement as described in the application
  • Two letters of reference 
  • Successful completion of a statistics course

See the Prerequisites section (below) for additional requirements and information.

The MSN-Case Management program is designed for nurses who already have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Applicants are considered for admission based upon the following: 

  • Baccalaureate in nursing from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Current unencumbered registered nurse (RN) license in state of residence
  • Evidence of recent experience in clinical practice as a registered nurse
  • Goal statement as described in the application
  • Two letters of reference 
  • Successful completion of a statistics course


Students are selected for an interview based upon the content of the application they submit to NursingCAS. An in-person or phone interview is required to be selected for admission.

Students who need disability accommodations may request them by emailing email Elisa Laird-Metke at Please give as much notice as you can to allow time to set them up. Further information about the Disability Resource Center can be found here. 

Students Educated Outside of the United States


The need for the TOEFL will be assessed based on information provided by the applicant on the application for admission. If the TOEFL is required, applicants must achieve a minimum score of 100 (Internet Based Test). Scores must be submitted during the application process.

International Transcript Evaluation Agencies

Students who have completed their degrees outside of the United States will have to have their degrees evaluated for United States baccalaureate equivalency, also known as a course-by-course/comprehensive evaluation. Please click here for a list of international transcript evaluation agencies.

Application Fees
Application fees are payable to Nursing’s Centralized Application Service (NursingCAS). Samuel Merritt University does not charge an additional admission fee.

Application Fee = $80

Non-Refundable Deposits and Fees
Students offered admission pay a non-refundable tuition deposit of $350 to secure their seat in the class. Application fees and tuition deposits are non-refundable, whether or not the student withdraws in the first week of the term.

For a detailed summary of annual tuition, all fees for the program, and a cost estimator for the entire program visit Student Accounts.

Academic Year: 2024-2025  

            Per Unit Rate                =          $1,774/unit  

            Program Units               =          37 units  

            Total Cost Estimate*     =          $64,500  

*The total cost estimate does not reflect potential future tuition rate increases. 

Your nursing education at Samuel Merritt University is an important and valuable investment in your future.  Not only will you have the opportunity to pursue a rewarding career in health care, but Samuel Merritt University graduates have a loan default rate of less than one percent.  This means that students who borrowed to attend Samuel Merritt University have found employment in their chosen field that allows them to pay off their loans. 

Samuel Merritt University is proud to offer a variety of ways to assist in funding your education including scholarships, work study and student loans. The first step in applying for financial aid at SMU is to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

SMU offers scholarships and an assortment of resources for funding opportunities outside of the program. Most scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need. A limited number are awarded for academic merit. Scholarships for Nurses include:

  • Sharon Clark Diaz
  • Employee Campaign
  • Marshall Steele, Jr.
  • Hitchcock Heydman
  • Henry & Bernice Bigge
  • Faculty Scholarship
  • Alumni Scholarship
  • Elks of the Year
  • William Breslin

In addition to the cost of tuition, books and fees, financial aid can also cover other indirect educational costs, so the total cost of attendance includes:

  • Books and Supplies
  • Room and Board
  • Transportation
  • Personal Expenses
  • Other fees as determined by program/college

Once you receive your financial aid package, check this budget against your actual living expenses and we can make necessary adjustments to meet your needs.

Detailed information about financial aid, budgeting, total cost and application processes.

We realize that the financial aid process can be difficult and overwhelming.  We are here to help.  Financial Aid staff can assist with budgeting, understanding your awards and understanding the process.  The SMU staff is committed to each and every prospective student and enrolled student.  We have an open door policy and are available via phone or email. or 510-879-9200

Sequential Course Curriculum     Course Descriptions

You’ll take a variety of theory and practical courses throughout your time at SMU, including but not limited to:

  • Fundamentals of nursing skills

  • Health assessment

  • Professional, legal, and ethical issues

  • Nursing care of pediatric and youth populations

  • Analysis of health policy issues

  • Healthcare finance

  • Program evaluation and quality improvement

In addition to your coursework, you’ll get to put theory into practice through hands-on, clinical experience in a variety of settings, including an internship. And you will complete a final thesis project to show your mastery of the concepts and themes learned throughout the MSN program.

Graduation Rate*        
2014-2015 Cohort        0%
2013-2014 Cohort      67%
2012-2013 Cohort      86%
2011-2012 Cohort      100%   

*% of Entering Cohort that Graduated Within 150%  of Expected Time. N is less than 8 for all years listed.          

Samuel Merritt University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501; 510.748.9001. 

The master's degree program in nursing at Samuel Merritt University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC., 20001.

Master's Accreditation
Initial Accreditation Date: April 21, 2001
Most Recent Accreditation Date: November 2, 2020
Accreditation Term Expires: June 30, 2031
Last On-Site Evaluation: November 2020
Next On-Site Evaluation: Fall 2030

Master of Science in Nursing– Case Management Program Technical Standards

The mission of Samuel Merritt University is to produce highly skilled and compassionate nurse case managers (CM). Students are expected to develop a robust healthcare knowledge base and requisite clinical skills, with the ability to appropriately apply knowledge and skills, effectively interpret information, and contribute to patient-centered decisions across a broad spectrum of clinical situations in all settings. The following technical standards, in conjunction with the academic standards, are requirements for admission, promotion, and graduation. The term “candidate” refers to candidates for admission to the CM Program as well as current CM students who are candidates for retention, promotion, or graduation.

These requirements may be achieved with or without reasonable accommodations, the cost of which will be borne by the institution. These standards should not serve as a deterrent to any candidate with disabilities who desires to pursue CM education. Candidates with disabilities bring unique perspectives which contribute to the diversity of the student population and will create a diverse health care workforce of culturally competent practitioners who can meet the needs of their patients. Candidates with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Disability Resource Center immediately to begin a confidential conversation about possible accommodations necessary to meet these standards. Fulfillment of the technical standards for graduation from the CM Program does not guarantee that a graduate will be able to fulfill the technical requirements of any specific clinical position.

Observational Skills
A candidate must acquire information as presented through demonstrations and experiences in foundational sciences. In addition, a candidate must be able to evaluate a patient accurately and assess relevant health, behavioral and medical information. Candidates must be able to obtain and interpret information through comprehensive bio-psycho-social assessment of patients, correctly interpret diagnostic representations of patient physiologic data, and accurately evaluate patient conditions and responses.

Communication Skills
Candidates must exhibit interpersonal skills to enable effective care and collaboration for patients, including the ability to communicate effectively in English with all members of a multidisciplinary health care team, patients and their families in person and in writing. Candidates must be able to clearly and accurately record information and accurately interpret verbal and non-verbal communication.

Patient Care Skills
Candidates must perform bio-psycho-social patient assessments. A candidate must be able to perform patient education related to the care coordination/discharge plan to enable a safe, effective, and patient centered transition. A candidate must be able to provide general care and emergency treatment required of a case manager. Candidates must meet applicable safety standards for the environment and follow standard precaution procedures.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Cognitive Skills
Candidates must be able to learn through a variety of modalities, including but not limited to, classroom instruction; laboratory, including small group, team and collaborative activities; individual study; preparation and presentation of reports; and use of computer technology. A candidate must effectively interpret, assimilate and understand the complex information required to function within the CM Program curriculum including, but not limited to, the ability to comprehend and effectively participate in individual, small group, and lecture learning modalities in the classroom, clinical and community settings; learn, participate, collaborate and contribute as a part of a team; synthesize information both in person and via remote technology; interpret causal connections and make accurate, fact-based conclusions based on available data and information; formulate a hypothesis, investigate the potential answers and outcomes; and reach appropriate and accurate conclusions. A candidate must be able to find sources of knowledge and acquire the knowledge through various modalities, and possess the ability to be a life-long learner.

Behavioral Attributes, Social Skills and Professional Expectations
A candidate must be able to exercise good judgment, promptly complete all responsibilities attendant to the care of patients, and develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients. The skills required to do so include the ability to effectively handle and manage heavy workloads, function effectively under stress, adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility, and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of patients. Candidates are expected to exhibit professionalism, personal accountability, compassion, integrity, concern for others, and interpersonal skills including the ability to accept and apply feedback and to respect boundaries and care for all individuals in a respectful and effective manner regardless of gender identity, age, race, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or any other protected status. Candidates should understand, and function within, the legal and ethical aspects of the CM practice, including patient advocacy, and maintain and display ethical and moral behaviors commensurate with the role of a nurse case manager in all interactions with patients, faculty, staff, students and the public. Interest and motivation throughout the educational processes are expected of all candidates.

Interested in Case Management?

Our MSN program prepares nurses to be leaders in their organizations and compassionate advocates for their patients.

Designed With Working Professionals in Mind

The program can be completed in four or six semesters, depending on whether you attend full- or part-time.


Employed Within Six Months of Graduation

Our master of science in nursing case managers are in high demand.

Case Managers Are Patient Advocates

Our graduates help patients to improve their self-care skills and caregivers to support patients more effectively.



Fusae Abbott

DNSc, RN Program Director, Case Management Professor

Kate Shade

PhD, RN Associate Professor
lisamarie-la vallee

Lisamarie La Vallee

DNP, RN, PHN, ACM-RN Assistant Professor

Brandy Beazley

MSN, RN Assistant Professor

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