The USC School of Social Work Opens Applications for New Online Master of Science in Nursing Degree

Nursing@USC is offered by the school’s newly created Department of Nursing

LOS ANGELES — March 21, 2016 — The University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work is now accepting applications for Nursing@USC, a new online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) for aspiring family nurse practitioners (FNPs). Nursing@USC is the first graduate nursing program in the United States to integrate nursing and social work practice. The program is designed to prepare nurses for clinical leadership roles through an understanding of the biological, behavioral and social factors that influence health and well-being. The first class begins September 2016.

The transformation of health care delivery in the U.S. has emphasized the need for a more holistic approach to nursing–one that includes social determinants in nursing education, research and health policy. Graduates will be prepared to address the complexity of health needs for patients, particularly those in vulnerable populations, working toward an improved and equitable health care system for all.

The USC School of Social Work has appointed Ellen Olshansky, chair of the new Department of Nursing, and Sharon O’Neill, vice chair and director of the Family Nurse Practitioner program, the department’s first advanced practice specialization.

Olshansky, one of the nation’s leading experts in women’s health, was the founding director of the University of California, Irvine’s Nursing Science program and has been engaged in teaching and research for more than 30 years. She also serves as a board member for the American Academy of Nursing.

O’Neill joins USC from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and most recently served as the lead FNP at a Baltimore community health clinic. Her clinical experience focuses on both adults and pediatrics. She is also an attorney.

“Evidence suggests 80 percent of health is influenced by social, psychological, environmental and behavioral factors. These “social determinants of health” play a greater role than factors typically associated with our well-being. We believe combining nursing and social work will prepare a new kind of nurse who can effectively integrate this knowledge into practice and be the catalyst for making health care better,” Olshansky said. “I have a bachelor’s degree in social welfare from UC Berkeley before I pursued nursing as a career, and am excited to have the opportunity to bring all parts of my career full circle. I think this collaboration of disciplines can truly make strides in creating a more socially just world where everyone can experience optimum health.”

Nursing@USC is powered by technology education company 2U, Inc. (NASDAQ: TWOU) through its cloud-based software-as-a-service technology platform.

Students across the country will meet weekly through live online classes. In addition, they will attend two on-campus intensive (OCI) experiences, where they will perform in-person assessments in a collaborative learning environment on USC’s campus. Students also will complete 784 clinical hours in a variety of health care settings in their local communities to gain hands-on experience in assessing, diagnosing and managing health problems while applying unique skills learned through the program’s holistic approach. The degree consists of 49 credits, offered on a full-time (five semesters) and part-time (eight semesters) basis, and can be completed in 21 to 33 months. Each year, there will be three start dates in September, January and May. The first Nursing@USC application deadline is July 11 with the first class beginning in September 2016.

Nursing@USC is accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and will pursue accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

For more information, visit

About the University of Southern California School of Social Work

The University of Southern California’s School of Social Work ranks among the top accredited social work graduate programs in the United States. A recognized leader in academic innovation, experiential learning, online education and translational research, the school prepares students for leadership roles in public and private organizations that serve individuals, families and communities in need. USC is dedicated to reinventing the profession, furthering knowledge and changing social institutions locally, nationally and globally. The school’s Department of Nursing was founded in 2016 to promote the science of nursing, advance clinical scholarship and educate nurses for clinical leadership roles improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities, and creating a socially just world.

For more information, visit USC Social Work.

About 2U, Inc. (NASDAQ: TWOU)

2U partners with leading colleges and universities to deliver the world’s best online degree programs so students everywhere can reach their full potential. Our Platform, a fusion of cloud-based software-as-a-service technology and technology-enabled services, provides schools with the comprehensive operating infrastructure they need to attract, enroll, educate, support and graduate students globally. Blending live face-to-face classes, dynamic course content and real-world learning experiences, 2U’s No Back Row® approach ensures that every qualified student can experience the highest quality university education for the most successful outcome. Learn more at