Feb 04, 2023  
2021-22 NSU Graduate Catalog 
2021-22 NSU Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Nursing, M.S.N. *

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OSRHE Program Code: 149
CIP Code: 513817
Major Code: 7886
Option Codes:

  • 7887 - Administrative Leadership in Nursing
  • 7888 - Nursing Education
  • 7889 - Nursing Informatics


Nursing offers a 32 semester hour Master of Science in Nursing focus for bachelor of nursing prepared registered nurses. The mission of the MSN program is to provide educational mobility and preparation in nursing at the graduate level to qualified registered nurses. The MSN program directly addresses the need for masters prepared nurses in the state and region that the University serves. The nursing faculty is committed to excellence in developing masters prepared nurses.

The curriculum, designed to build on the students’ previous education and experience, prepares nurses for professional nursing practice. Major areas of emphasis include advanced practice roles, cultural competencies, theories, technology, research and evidence-based practice, and issues in nursing practice. Graduates are prepared to assume roles as designated through their specific option.  

The minimum time required to complete the program is three academic semesters (ten months), provided the student meets all other Program, Graduate College, and University requirements.  Students working full-time typically complete the program in 6 semesters (two academic years). Students may take a maximum of six (6) years to complete the program after enrolling in nursing courses with field experiences. The first course is a blended course; all other courses with the possible exception of selected studies, are online courses.


Northeastern State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org) located at 230 North LaSalle Street. Suite 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604-1411.  The HLC can be contacted at:  800-621-7440, or by email at info@hlcommission.org.   All programs offered by the University are approved by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (655 Research Parkway, Suite 200, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, 405-225-9100) and by the Board of Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma (3555 N.W. 58th Street, Suite 320, Oklahoma City, OK 73112, 405-942-8817).

Specialty Accreditation

The masters nursing program, Nursing, M.S.N. programs is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Georgia, 404.975.5000, www.acenursing.org

Credential Requirements

As a prerequisite for program admission, candidates must be a licensed registered nurse.  Candidates must also provide immunization requirements, professional liability insurance, evidence of CPR training, and a completed national background check and drug test (see admission requirements below).

MSN Program Goals

  1. Facilitate students’ mastery of knowledge and skills essential for professional nursing roles.
  2. Prepare masters level nurses who reflect increased competency with the cultures and communities served.
  3. Impact the current and future local, state, and regional needs for master’s prepared nurses.
  4. Prepare masters level nurses for further graduate and doctoral studies.

Student Learning Outcomes 

  1. Create collaborative partnerships with health care colleagues in selected nursing roles.
  2. Apply expanded research knowledge, critique skills and evidenced based practice relevant to advanced nursing practice. 
  3. Demonstrate leadership in nursing practice to initiate change and to improve the quality, safety, and outcomes for individuals, populations, and systems.  
  4. Value social, cultural, political, legal, and ethical influences that impact nursing practice.
  5. Manage information, technology, and resources effectively. 
  6. Synthesize specialized knowledge and theories from nursing and other disciplines into advanced nursing practice.   
  7. Demonstrate responsibility and accountability for professional nursing practice and lifelong learning. 

See MSN Program Handbook for additional option information.

Admission, Retention, and Graduation

Admission. Beyond the admission requirements for the Graduate College, admission to the Nursing, M.S.N. program requires:

  1. Earned either
    a. Bachelor’s in nursing degree from a regionally accredited college or university and an ACEN, CCNE, or NEA accredited nursing program OR
    b. Associate degree of nursing from an accredited college AND an ACEN or NEA accredited program; AND a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university; AND course work of NURS 3003 Professional Nursing Role, NURS 3053 Health Assessment, and NURS 4115 Community Nursing with grades of “C” or better in each course;
  2. Completion of an approved statistics and nursing research course with grades of “C” or better;
  3. Licensed as a Registered Nurse;
  4. Be formally admitted to Northeastern State University and the Graduate College by submitting an application and official transcripts to the Graduate College;
  5. Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale on all undergraduate coursework attempted or a 3.0 GPA based on a 4.0 scale in the nursing major of the bachelor degree.
  6. To participate in this online program, students must be residents of NC-SARA states.

Advisement. The program chair serves as advisor for all MSN graduate students. Students who have been admitted to the MSN graduate program must meet with the program chair by email, phone, video-conference, or face-to-face each semester for advisement concerning course sequences and to track progress toward completion of the degree.

Program Requirements

  1. Personal or telephone interview may be required.
  2. Immunization Requirements: TDaP, TB, Rubella & Rubeola, Hepatitis B, & flu documentation (some agencies may require further verification of health status).
  3. Photocopy of professional liability insurance policy face sheet reflecting $1,000,000/incident and $3,000,000/aggregate. The nursing program must be named as a certificate holder.
  4. RN license verification 
  5. Photocopy of both sides of current CPR card for adult, child, and infant (American Heart Association’s BLS Healthcare Provider Course).
  6. Completed national background check and drug test

Admission to Candidacy. Students who have been admitted to the MSN graduate program are eligible to be admitted to candidacy for the Master of Science in Nursing degree upon completion of:

  1. Submission of Degree Plan approved by the advisor and Dean of the Graduate College
  2. Submission of Statement of Understanding (signed by student and advisor and delineating program requirements, university requirements, and ethical considerations required in field experiences) to Graduate College.
  3. Maintenance of grades of “B” or better in all graduate courses during the first two semesters in the graduate program
  4. Admission to candidacy must be completed before the first 24 hours of the program is completed. A minimum of 8 hours must be completed after the student has been admitted to candidacy.

Retention Requirements  

  1. A student must maintain a 3.0 grade point average or above in all didactic, practicum, and elective coursework;
  2. Current RN licensure, current professional liability insurance with minimal limits of $1,000,000 per incident and $3,000,000 per aggregate, and current CPR certification is maintained, and relevant immunizations are updated annually.
  3. A nursing course can be taken a maximum of two times.
  4. Completion of the program must occur within six (6) years of starting the first MSN nursing course.
  5. A student who has stopped out of the MSN program can be readmitted on a space available basis. A written letter must be submitted to the MSN program chair requesting re-entry into the MSN program prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student wishes to re-enroll. 
  6. The student who is re-entering the MSN Program must meet the requirements in effect at that time. A new degree plan must be submitted if the student has not been continuously enrolled, or if requirements have changed since the student was last enrolled in the MSN Program. Another background check and/or drug testing may be required.

Program Dismissal Standards

  1. Students who fail to either earn the grade point average (3.0) or meet retention criteria will be placed on academic probation for one semester. If the deficiency/deficiencies is/are not corrected by the end of the probationary semester, the student will be suspended from the program. The student may apply for re-admission into the program one time after one year. 
  2. In the case of unethical, illegal or unprofessional behavior, or violations found in the Unsafe Nursing Practice Policy, the Nursing Admission, Promotion and Retention Committee will investigate, impose any sanctions, and determine retention in the program by a simple majority of the membership.  Such violations may also be subject to disciplinary actions under the university conduct code and/or relevant Nurse Practice Act.  See Unsafe Nursing Practice Policy in Nursing Handbook.

Graduation Requirements.  Candidates for the Nursing, M.S.N. degree must satisfy the following requirements

  1. Continue to meet the Graduate College’s program’s retention standards. See the Academic Information page for more information.
  2. Monitor degree progress using the degree audit system in the goNSU portal.
  3. Meet Graduate College policies detailed in Academic Information and Master’s Degree Requirements regarding GPA, minimum grades, coursework age, residency and institutional / state regulations governing degree conferral.
  4. Successful completion of coursework with a 3.0 or better within 5 years of the completion of the first course; 
  5. Successful completion of field experiences with a 3.0 or better.
  6. Complete a capstone experience (see below).

Capstone Experience. The capstone experience is an academic activity in which the student demonstrates synthesis of the knowledge gained and skills learned in the MSN program. It is a culminating experience that goes beyond the required MSN coursework and should be completed near the end of the student’s program (after at least 25 hours of coursework). Capstone experiences will have a significant writing component and may include satisfactorily completing one of the following:

  • A professional nursing project that requires students to apply skills and knowledge acquired in the program
  • A thesis reflective of designing and carrying out a professional nursing research proposal. The guidelines for a Thesis are available on the Graduate College website.

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