Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
Start sooner and finish faster with our innovative course design.
Our admissions team reviews applications year-round.
230K+ Alumni Worldwide
Become a member of NU’s global community.
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program Overview
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. Master’s-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. Students must complete one of the specializations listed in the University catalog.
The baccalaureate degree programs in nursing, master’s degree programs in nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice program, and post-graduate APRN certificate programs at National University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org).
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) accredits public and private schools, colleges, and universities in the U.S.
Master of Science in Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner
The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) specialization prepares advanced practice nurses to manage the care of individuals and families across a lifespan. The program develops your ability to think critically; make differential diagnoses; use evidence-based findings to improve healthcare outcomes; and provide diverse individuals and families with healthcare that includes health promotion, disease prevention, management of acute and chronic health conditions, and primary care. Graduates are eligible to sit for the FNP national certification examinations offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).Learn More
Master of Science in Nursing, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – Lifespan
The Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner – Lifespan (PMHNP) specialization prepares nursing professionals for advanced practice roles in providing primary mental healthcare to individuals, groups, and populations across a lifespan. As an independent member of the healthcare team, and in partnership with patients and their families, PMHNPs provide a variety of evidence-based services and therapies. They assess, diagnose, and plan care for complex psychiatric and concomitant medical issues, including the prescription and management of psychopharmacologic agents.Learn More
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
- 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.
Enrolling in a university is a big decision. That’s why our dedicated admissions team is here to guide you through the admissions process and help you find the right program for you and your career goals.
To that end, we’ve simplified and streamlined our application process, so you can get enrolled in your program right away. Because we accept and review applications year round, you can begin class as soon as next month, depending on your program and location of choice.
Learn more about undergraduate, graduate, military, and international student admissions, plus admissions information for transfer students. You can also learn more about our tuition rates and financial aid opportunities.
Why Choose National University
- Four-Week Courses
- 190+ Degree Programs
- Online or On-Site
- Year-Round Enrollment
- Military Friendly
We’re proud to be a Veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 230,000 alumni worldwide.
“National University has impacted my career. You can immediately apply what you learn in class to your business.”
-Francisco R., Class of 2016
The Key Grant Scholarship
Do you qualify for a needs-based scholarship? Learn more about the NU Key Grant Scholarship and other scholarship opportunities to unlock the door to your dreams!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) is a higher level degree than an RN (Registered Nurse). An RN is a licensed nurse who has completed a diploma program, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree in nursing, while an MSN is a graduate-level degree that prepares nurses for advanced roles in the field of nursing.
What degree you earn depends on your career aspirations. A BSN is typically considered the minimum requirement for many nursing positions, while an MSN provides advanced education and training for nurses seeking higher-level roles such as nurse practitioner or nurse educator. Ultimately, the decision of which degree to pursue depends on your career goals.
No, an MSN is not the same as an NP. An MSN is a graduate-level degree program that provides advanced education and training in a variety of areas, while an NP is an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) who has completed specialized training and holds a master’s or doctoral degree.
An MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) is a graduate-level degree program that prepares nurses for advanced practice roles, leadership positions, and research opportunities. It typically includes specialized coursework and clinical training in areas such as nursing education, administration, informatics, and advanced practice nursing. An MS (Master of Science) in nursing, on the other hand, provides students with an in-depth understanding of the nursing profession and helps them prepare for a variety of nursing roles.
Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.
Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.
NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.
All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.
National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.