Master of Science in Nursing

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program is for baccalaureate prepared nurses. In keeping with the standards for graduate education for advanced practice nursing delineated by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in the Essentials of Master’s Education for Advanced Practice Nurses, the purpose of the MSN program is to prepare students to assume leadership roles in their particular specialization. Masters level nursing education is the appropriate level of education for nursing professionals who are seeking roles that require advanced practice skills in order to function as providers and organizers of the health care delivery process.

This program is approved by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing education (CCNE).

Admission Requirements
To be eligible for admission to the MSN program at National University, candidates must:

  • Meet the University requirements for graduate study, listed in the General Catalog under admission requirements.
  • Hold a BSN degree from a State Board of Nursing approved and a nationally accredited school of nursing.
  • Provide proof of current, active, and unencumbered RN license in the State of residence.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with a GPA of 2.5- 2.99 will be considered by the MSN Admissions Committee on a case by case basis.
  • Have completed the University Application for Graduate Admissions, including the application fee.
  • Provide one official transcript from each college or university attended to the Nursing Department.
  • Have completed the MSN application packet.
  • Provide three professional recommendation forms, preferably from individuals who hold graduate or doctoral degrees.
  • Provide evidence of current, active professional liability and malpractice insurance coverage throughout the program.
  • Provide a completed Course Waiver Form demonstrating completion of pre-requisites: MTH 210 or an undergraduate course in statistics NSG 422 or an undergraduate course in nursing research methodology and application; NSG211A NSG 211T or undergraduate course in physical assessment with a lab component within the past 5 years or a department approved competency-based exam (applicable for FNP PMHNP specializations only).
  • Provide evidence of specified immunizations, a report of a recent physical examination, a clear drug screen and background check, and current BLS-AED certification.
  • Mandatory Pre-MSN Post Graduate Certificate Forum: View the Pre-MSN Post Graduate Certificate Program Information Forum, which will describe the process for applying to and acceptance into the Nursing Program. The specifics described are: number of Nursing courses, sequence of courses, requirements for progression in the Program. Note: Prospective Students must have viewed a Pre-MSN Post Graduate Certificate Forum before submitting the application packet.
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Area of Specialization requires one (1) year of acute care RN experience.

Additional Prerequisite Requirements
Students should be proficient in operating a personal computer, including: demonstrated competency in standard computer operating systems and electronic filing systems, basic keyboarding skills, organizing and sorting electronic documents; demonstrated knowledge of standard computer applications to include Microsoft Word and Excel; familiarity with using internet browsers and standard email systems such as MS Outlook. This is a hybrid program that includes both online, onsite and clinical preceptored learning activities. It is offered at an accelerated pace of full-time study using an executive weekend format once per month (e.g. Thursday - Saturday). All accepted applicants must attend all orientation activities, including virtual online meetings and a one-day mandatory campus orientation. Students in the FNP and PMHNP specializations are required to attend once every three months onsite Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). In addition, FNP and PMHNP practicum courses are offered as immersion practicum experiences, conducted in faculty approved, in-person, preceptored clinical settings.

Additional Program Information
Students who request a change in specialization after they have been admitted to a prior specialization must re-submit an application packet including a new goal statement, and one recommendation form completed addressing the new specialization area. A new resume is not required. All prerequisites must be met prior to admissions into the new specialization. The new application will be re-submitted via the Graduate Nursing E-form Application in SOAR by the admissions advisor.

Students who withdraw from the program or withdraw their application prior to beginning the program will not need to re-apply if the point of initial application occurred within one year of re-application. Students requesting to be re-admitted after one year of initial application for admissions will need to resubmit a new application packet including all required items needed for the application packet and drug screening, background check, immunizations and physical examination. Re-application to the program does not guarantee acceptance or provide an advantage to being accepted.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Implement appropriate theories, models, frameworks, and concepts from nursing and non-nursing disciplines when designing interventions that influence healthcare outcomes for diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  • Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams, to evaluate fiscally appropriate healthcare delivery systems that integrate research and clinical expertise to provide evidence-based, patient-centered care.
  • Evaluate economic, policy, environmental, and social forces that impact nursing practice, health care delivery and quality of health care.
  • Participate in the analysis, implementation and evaluation of strategies for improving nursing practice through the implementation of health information systems and technologies.
  • Demonstrate a professional commitment to creating an environment of lifelong learning for patients, families, communities, and other healthcare practitioners.


The Master of Science in Nursing requires a minimum of 58.5 quarter units of graduate credit, with 45 of those units completed at National University. A total of 13.5 units of graduate credit may be granted for graduate work completed at another institution as it applies to this program and provided the units were not used to earn another advanced degree. Refer to the General Catalog section on graduate admission requirements for specific information regarding admission and evaluation. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0, and must maintain a B average (84%) in all core and specialty courses. NOTE: Program Fees...............................................$11,325 FNP and PMHNP Area of Specializations carry additional program fees
Prerequisite Courses (2 courses; 9 quarter units)
Core Requirements (6 courses; 27 quarter units)
Students must take all core courses in sequence.
Core Requisite(s):
Students must pass all core courses before beginning specialization courses.