Master of Science in Nursing

The Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) program prepares nurses for roles as leaders in healthcare or academic settings. MSN graduates formulate clinical, administrative, or policy decisions to promote health among patients, families, or communities along the continuum of wellness and illness.  Graduates may advance to higher levels of nursing education including Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) nursing programs. Students choose one of three cognates as their substantive program of study: nursing education, advanced nursing practice, or administration/leadership.

The courses are delivered in an online format, allowing students to reside in their home communities. However, students may choose to travel for clinical immersion hours or for GPSI sessions. The MSN program also requires students to complete a minimum of 160 clinical hours. Clinical rotations vary based on MSN degree cognate but may include inpatient or acute care sites, long term care, community-based, and primary care sites.

The mission of the MSN is to prepare nurses to provide expert leadership in the delivery of healthcare services and programs to individuals, families, and communities across the lifespan in a variety of settings.  Graduates are prepared to practice as nurse educators and leaders with the critical thinking skills and knowledge necessary to promote the profession of nursing through clinical practice, teaching, research, program development and implementation, and scholarship.

The goals of the MSN program are to prepare graduates as:

  • Leaders and educators in healthcare systems or academic settings.
  • Seekers of new knowledge by means of critical thinking, creative reasoning, and scientific investigation in relation to nursing theory, science, and practice.
  • Disseminators of nursing knowledge and research to consumers and other healthcare professionals.
  • Leaders capable of determining effective strategies to promote change within the profession and leading to a more effective management of the healthcare delivery system.
  • Decision-makers who consider ethical principles in serving the needs of diverse individuals, populations, and society.
  • Learners who possess the foundation for doctoral education.


MSN Expected Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the MSN program, students are able to:

  1. Incorporate leadership skills and behaviors to foster best practices, promote professional growth, interprofessional collaboration, and positive change in people and systems within health care and education (MSN Essential II, VII).
  2. Analyze quality improvement and safety initiatives, accountability, and communication to improve patient outcomes (MSN Essential III).
  3. Advocate for policies to improve the health outcomes of populations and the quality of the health care delivery system as it impacts professional nursing practice (MSN Essential VI, VIII).
  4. Apply current evidence-based knowledge to inform and/or initiate change in educational, clinical, and organizational environments (MSN Essential IV).
  5. Synthesize advanced theoretical, empirical, and ethical knowledge to engage in systematic critical inquiry for a chosen domain of nursing (MSN Essential I, IV).
  6. Appraise the impact of social determinants, culture, diversity, values, and globalization in the delivery of population health (MSN Essential VIII).
  7. Utilize information systems, technology, and patient data for ethical, clinical decision-making that promotes cost effectiveness and positive health care outcomes (MSN Essential V).
  8. Develop strategies to improve individual and population health outcomes based on health promotion and disease reduction principles (MSN Essential VIII, IX).

Application Process