Nursing students

College of Nursing

Samuel Merritt University has been preparing nurses for more than a century. Today, we offer undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and nursing certificate programs at four campuses and online.

Preparing Compassionate and Skilled Clinicians and Nurse Leaders

SMU's College of Nursing is proud to be a top provider of registered nurses in Northern California. We prepare you for careers in all levels of the field, from entry-level clinical positions to advanced careers in primary care and nursing leadership.

In line with SMU’s mission, our programs prepare nurses to promote health and well-being across diverse populations and communities, recognize the importance of social determinants of health, and practice with compassion, kindness, and respect. Our curriculum blends theory, research, and practice and prepares you to make evidence-based decisions and work independently or in tandem with other caregivers.


The College of Nursing prepares highly skilled nurse clinicians and nurse leaders who promote health and well-being across diverse populations and communities, recognize the importance of  Social Determinants of Health, and practice with compassion, kindness, and respect.

Through innovations in nursing education, we prepare nurses who will improve the health and well-being of the people and communities we serve and transform their healthcare experience through:

  • Novel partnerships and collaborations
  • Robust interdisciplinary training
  • Conscientious and explicit use of research and evidence
  • Pioneering innovations in nursing education

The faculty of SMU's School of Nursing are guided by the following values:

  • Social Justice
  • Diversity
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Teamwork
  • Integrity
  • Scholarship

Nursing Degrees and Programs

Explore and compare our nursing programs to determine the best path for your career goals.

Campus Locations

A Leader in Nursing Education

SMU has set the standard for nursing education in California since our founding in 1909.


First-Time NCLEX Pass Rate

SMU's licensure RN pass rates exceed the national average year-after-year.


Faculty-to-Student Ratio

Your education is personalized.


Nursing Alumni Employed Within 6 Months

Our graduates successfully join the most trusted profession at some of the highest rates in the country.


Our nursing faculty prepare more nurses in Northern California than anyone. Their expertise in best practices, outcomes-based healthcare, and inter-professional simulation is unrivaled. They prepare nurses for careers in all levels of the field, from entry-level clinical positions to advanced careers in primary care and nursing leadership.

Deborah Acker

Deborah J. Acker

JD, MSN, RN, CNM Assistant Professor

Carmen M. Ward-Sullivan

PhD, RN Program Director, Entry Level Master of Science in Nursing, Pre-licensure Assistant Professor

H. Paul Smith

PhD, RN Assistant Professor

Nisha Thapa

MSN, FNP Adjunct Instructor
Student working at Brighter Beginnings Clinic

Hands-on Learning

Our nursing programs emphasize experiential learning, allowing you to put theory into practice in real and simulated situations.

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Students on campus

Online Programs

You can advance your career on your own schedule with our online options.


SMU Perspectives

Nurses in simulation lab
Simulation is a necessity. I am certain that it does one of two things: assist you in becoming a competent, safe anesthesia practitioner or reinforce that you are a competent, safe anesthesia provider.

Bradley Burch CRNA ’11