Jul 19, 2024  
2023-24 NSU Graduate Catalog 
2023-24 NSU Graduate Catalog

Nursing, M.S.N. *

Location(s): Online

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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


The Master of Science in Nursing is a 32 semester hour program designed for bachelor of nursing prepared, registered nurses. The program’s mission is to provide educational mobility, addressing the need for masters prepared nurses in the state and region. 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 nursing faculty is committed to excellence.

The minimum time required to complete the program is three academic semesters (twelve 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).

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. Construct a partnership with healthcare colleagues and other stakeholders to optimize care, enhance the healthcare experience, and strengthen outcomes.
  2. Synthesize specialized knowledge and theories from nursing and other disciplines into advanced nursing practice.
  3. Apply expanded research knowledge, critique skills, and evidence-based practice relevant to advanced nursing practice.
  4. Demonstrate leadership in nursing practice to initiate change and to improve the quality, safety, and outcomes for individuals, populations, and systems.
  5. Analyze the social, cultural, political, legal, and ethical influences that impact nursing practice.  
  6. Evaluate information, technology, and other resources effectively.  
  7. Demonstrate advanced nursing practice emphasizing engagement 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 4213 Nursing Leadership & Management, and NURS 4113 Population Health 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.

Advisement. The Graduate College assigns students an advisor upon admission to graduate studies. It is the candidate’s responsibility to make an appointment with the advisor prior to enrollment to discuss policies and procedures relevant to the degree program. Conferring with the student, the advisor develops the plan of study, assists in the selection of classes, and counsels the student.

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

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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