Master of Science in Nursing

The 🌐 icon appears in the title of traditional courses that are also available as a set of module courses.  

Description and Outcomes

The Master of Science in Nursing program is designed to build on previous nursing education and clinical experience, prepare you to pursue advanced practice in a variety of health care settings, and lay a foundation to pursue doctoral education. The overall purpose of the master's degree program is to provide graduate education for advanced nursing roles that respond to the needs of individuals, families, and communities.

The program of study includes completion of the core curriculum, concentration or population focus area courses, and an evidence-based project proposal. The core courses focus on the acquisition of a theoretical base in nursing, evidence-based decision making, health policy, financing and organization of the health care delivery system, advanced practice issues, ethics, health promotion and disease prevention, and biostatistics.

This program is available in ExcelTrack. Speak with your University representative for any limitations. For more information on ExcelTrack, see Learning Paths in the Approach to Learning section of the Catalog.

Concentrations and Population Focus Areas

You will choose from concentrations and population focus areas designed to provide further knowledge in your chosen specialty and your specific advanced role: nurse educator; executive leader; family nurse practitioner, primary care; adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner; adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Refer to the Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams section for important program disclosure information.

The nurse educator concentration prepares nurses to address health care problems in a variety of settings. Learn to effectively teach patients and their families, provide staff development programs, evaluate the effectiveness of educational programs, and instruct undergraduate nursing students through the application of advanced nursing knowledge, learning theories, and curricular development and instructional design techniques. The nurse educator concentration contributes to the preparation for the National League for Nursing's Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) examination and/or the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Nursing Professional Development board certification examination.

The executive leader concentration is designed to prepare you to pursue managerial positions and leadership roles in hospitals, community health, long-term care facilities, and other health care systems. Upon graduation, you may be prepared to sit for the Nurse Executive or the Nurse Executive, Advanced, certification examinations (depending on the level of leadership with your organization) provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

The family and adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner population focus areas are designed to educate you on the topics of how to best provide primary care as a member of an interprofessional team and improve the availability of evidence-based, culturally relevant health care in diverse communities. The curriculum helps you develop the skills to evaluate the health and wellness of individuals, families, and their communities. The nurse practitioner is expected to possess skills in diagnosing, treating, and managing acute and chronic health conditions, to deliver primary and preventive care, and to participate in the development of appropriate policy and evidence-based practice.

The adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner population focus area is designed to prepare registered nurses as practitioners for professional practice in the medical, surgical, and critical care management of acutely ill adult patient populations. Graduates may expect to practice in acute and complex care settings in roles such as a hospitalist in a medical-surgical unit or an intensivist in a general or specialty critical care unit. Adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners function within the interprofessional acute care team providing direct care management including diagnosis and treatment planning.

The psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner population focus area is designed for master’s prepared nurses who want to obtain further knowledge to provide comprehensive psychiatric mental health care through the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and management of psychiatric mental health disorders, medical organic brain disorders, substance abuse problems, and complex co-occurring disease processes and disorders across the lifespan. Graduates may expect to practice in acute care and primary care settings in hospitals, community mental health centers, home health care, partial hospital care, residential settings, prisons, or private practices as well as in collaborative practices with other specialties. Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners function within the interprofessional acute care or primary care team providing direct care management including diagnosis, treatment planning, conducting therapy, prescribing psychotropic medications, and providing emergency psychiatric services.

Note: the Master of Science in Nursing program's adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, primary care, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner population focus areas are not available in all states. Refer to Program Availability Information for details.

Clinical Practice Experiences

If you choose the executive leader or nurse educator concentration, you will complete a clinical experience designed to provide the opportunity for application of theoretical knowledge while working with a mentor. 

If you choose the family nurse practitioner, primary care; adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner; adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner; or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner population focus area, you will complete a series of clinical practice sessions designed to provide the opportunity for application of theoretical knowledge while working with a designated, qualified preceptor. The adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner population focus area requires a virtual reality immersive learning acute care skills experience. The psychiatric mental health population focus area requires immersive learning experiences which are embedded in specific courses.

Refer to the School of Nursing’s Progression Requirements section for additional requirements for clinical experiences.

Program Length

The Master of Science in Nursing program consists of a minimum of 60 to 90 quarter credit hours, depending on your specialty. Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a master of science degree.

Program Outcomes

  1. Background for Practice from Sciences and Humanities: Integrate scientific findings from nursing, biopsychosocial fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement, and organizational sciences for the continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings.
  2. Organizational and Systems Leadership: Demonstrate ethical and critical decision-making leadership skills that result in effective working relationships and a systems perspective.
  3. Quality Improvement and Safety: Implement quality improvement principles within an organization using methods, tools, performance measures, and standards related to quality.
  4. Translating and Integrating Scholarship into Practice: Apply research outcomes within the practice setting, resolve practice problems, work as a change agent, and disseminate results.
  5. Informatics and Health Care Technologies: Utilize patient-care and communication technologies to deliver and coordinate quality care.
  6. Health Policy and Advocacy: Employ policy that supports advocacy strategies to influence health and health care.
  7. Interprofessional Collaboration for Improving Patient and Population Health Outcomes: Collaborate with interprofessional teams to improve patient and population health outcomes.
  8. Clinical Prevention and Population Health for Improving Health: Support broad, organizational, client-centered, and culturally appropriate concepts in the planning, delivery, management, and evaluation of evidence-based clinical prevention and population care and services to individuals, families, and aggregates/identified populations.
  9. Master’s-Level Nursing Practice: Integrate advanced levels of understanding of nursing and relevant sciences to influence health care outcomes for individuals, populations, or systems.

Nurse Educator Outcomes

  1. Clinical Expertise: Integrate advanced nursing practice knowledge with educational content, design, and delivery.
  2. Instructional Method Design: Design educational programs that facilitate learning for patients, health care professionals, or nursing students.
  3. Evaluation Strategies: Evaluate effectiveness of teaching and learning methodologies for patients, health care professionals, and nursing students.
  4. Clinical Expertise: Apply advanced nursing practice knowledge to impact health care outcomes for individuals, populations, or systems.

Executive Leader Outcomes

  1. Fiscal Responsibility and Human Resource Management: Encompass concepts of fiscal and human resources in designing quality care measures.
  2. Collaborative Practice: Develop collaborative relationships and partnerships that are interdisciplinary and aggregate-focused to improve the health care of populations.
  3. Creating and Managing Nursing Care Systems: Provide leadership in conceptualization, design, implementation, and evaluation of health care delivery systems across the health care continuum.

Family Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate, through synthesis of theoretical and scientific knowledge, the safe, effective practice of primary care through management of both health and illness states.
  2. Collaborate with the individual, family, and community as well as other health care professionals for the purpose of ensuring high-quality, holistic primary care services.
  3. Demonstrate the role of the nurse practitioner as a health educator and coach to individuals, families, and communities using a wide range of skills.
  4. Demonstrate commitment to the implementation, preservation, and evolution of the family nurse practitioner role.
  5. Incorporate critical thinking, collaboration, and interdisciplinary relationships into client care to achieve optimal outcomes.
  6. Serve as an advocate for the client as he or she interfaces with the health care system.
  7. Demonstrate a commitment to ensuring quality of care through consultation, collaboration, continuing education, certification, and self-reflection.
  8. Provide culturally sensitive care in a holistic manner that is responsive to the client's cultural and spiritual beliefs.

Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate, through synthesis of theoretical and scientific knowledge, the safe, effective practice of primary care through management of both health and illness states.
  2. Collaborate with the individual and community as well as other health care professionals for the purpose of ensuring high-quality, holistic primary care services.
  3. Demonstrate the role of a nurse practitioner as a health educator and coach to individuals, families, and communities using a wide range of skills.
  4. Demonstrate commitment to the implementation, preservation, and evolution of the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner role.
  5. Incorporate critical thinking, collaboration, and interdisciplinary relationships into client care to achieve optimal outcomes.
  6. Serve as an advocate for the client as he or she interfaces with the health care system.
  7. Demonstrate a commitment to ensuring quality of care through consultation, collaboration, continuing education, certification, and self-reflection.
  8. Provide culturally sensitive care in a holistic manner that is responsive to the client's cultural and spiritual beliefs.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate, through synthesis of theoretical and scientific knowledge, the safe, effective practice of acute care through management of both health and illness states.
  2. Collaborate with the individual and other health care professionals for the purpose of ensuring high-quality, holistic acute care services.
  3. Demonstrate the role of a nurse practitioner as a health educator and coach to individuals, families, and communities using a wide range of skills.
  4. Demonstrate commitment to the implementation, preservation, and evolution of the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner role.
  5. Incorporate critical thinking, collaboration, and interdisciplinary relationships into client care to achieve optimal outcomes.
  6. Serve as an advocate for the client as he or she interfaces with the health care system.
  7. Demonstrate a commitment to ensuring quality of care through consultation, collaboration, continuing education, certification, and self-reflection.
  8. Provide culturally sensitive care in a holistic manner that is responsive to the client's cultural and spiritual beliefs.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate, through synthesis of theoretical and scientific knowledge, the safe, effective practice of psychiatric mental health care through management of both health and illness states.
  2. Collaborate with the individual and other health care professionals for the purpose of ensuring high-quality, holistic psychiatric mental health care services.
  3. Demonstrate the role of a nurse practitioner as a health educator and coach to individuals, families, and communities using a wide range of skills.
  4. Demonstrate commitment to the implementation, preservation, and evolution of the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner role.
  5. Incorporate critical thinking, collaboration, and interdisciplinary relationships into client care to achieve optimal outcomes.
  6. Serve as an advocate for clients as they interface with the health care system.
  7. Demonstrate a commitment to ensuring quality of care through consultation, collaboration, continuing education, certification, and self-reflection.
  8. Provide culturally sensitive care in a holistic manner that is responsive to clients’ cultural and spiritual beliefs.

Professional Competencies

In addition to the discipline-specific outcomes, professional competencies are integrated throughout your academic program. You can review the professional competencies associated with your academic program in the Professional Competencies section of this Catalog.

Program Availability

For program availability, please refer to the U.S. State and Other Approvals section and Program Availability Information.

Policies

Admissions Requirements

You must meet the below admissions requirements in addition to Purdue Global's general requirements.

At this time, you may not enroll in the Master of Science in Nursing if you are a resident of Tennessee.

If applying for admission, you must submit the following:

  1. A transcript indicating receipt of a bachelor's degree with an upper-level major in nursing and a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher from an accredited institution. Refer to the Admissions Requirements for more information on prior degree submission. If you have not completed a statistics course and a nursing research course with a grade of “C” or better as part of your bachelor's degree in nursing, you must complete them before enrollment in MN504 🌐 Scientific and Analytic Approaches to Advanced Evidence-Based Practice. If you choose to take the required statistics course at the University, you will have all course-level prerequisites waived.
  2. An approved criminal background check.

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Population Focus Area

If you are an international applicant, you are not eligible to enroll in this focus area due to clinical requirements.

If applying for admission, you must submit a current, professional resume or curriculum vitae that verifies you have a minimum of one year of recent full-time practice (2,000 hours) as a registered nurse in a critical care setting that the School of Nursing has determined addresses the clinical skills and experience needed to serve as a basis for entering an acute care nurse practitioner program. Acceptance into the program is determined by the School of Nursing's review of your professional resume or curriculum vitae.

Prior to enrollment, you must provide evidence of current advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) certification. Your ACLS certification must remain current during the course of your enrollment.

Family Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care; Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner; and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Population Focus Areas

If you are an international applicant, you are not eligible to enroll in these focus areas due to clinical requirements.

Graduates of Purdue Global's Bachelor of Science in NursingRN-to-BSN

As a graduate of the University's Bachelor of Science in NursingRN-to-BSN program who enters the Master of Science in Nursing program, you may have already satisfied specific core requirements and will complete a condensed program of graduate study.

Progression Requirements

  1. You can enroll in no more than two courses per term, unless approved by the Dean of the School of Nursing.
  2. You will complete clinical courses as part of the requirements for the population focus area or concentration. You are required to follow University Catalog and School of Nursing Handbook requirements in completion of your clinical courses.
  3. You may not use transfer credit to replace MN501 🌐 Advanced Nursing Roles, unless you are a graduate of Purdue Global's Bachelor of Science in Nursing—RN-to-BSN program. In addition, you may not use transfer credit to replace any courses in the executive leader or nurse educator concentrations unless you have approval from the Dean of the School of Nursing. If none of these exceptions apply, these courses must be completed at the University. If you are enrolled in the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, or family nurse practitioner, primary care population focus area, you may apply transfer credit toward the following focus area courses only:
    1.  MN551 Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology Across the Life Span
    2. MN552 🌐 Advanced Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
    3. MN553 Advanced Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics
  4. If you are enrolled in the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner population focus area, you must complete the virtual reality immersive learning acute care skills experience. 
  5. If you are enrolled in the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner population focus area, you must complete immersive learning experiences. 

Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams

Certain state certification and licensure boards have specific educational requirements for programs to lead to a license or nongovernmental certification that is a precondition for employment in a recognized occupation.

Unless otherwise specified, Purdue Global's programs are not designed to meet any specific state’s licensure or certification requirements. If certain licensed occupations, vocations, or professions are not explicitly listed, Purdue Global has not reviewed the licensure or certification requirements of those occupations, vocations, or professions, nor intended the program to meet such requirements. Licensure-track programs may limit enrollment to students in certain states; please see Purdue Global’s Program Availability Information to determine enrollment eligibility.

You are responsible for understanding the requirements of optional certification exams. Such requirements may change during the course of your program. You are not automatically certified in any way upon program completion. Although certain programs are designed to prepare you to take various optional certification exams, Purdue Global cannot guarantee you will be eligible to take these exams or become certified. Your eligibility may depend on your work experience, completion of education and/or degree requirements, not having a criminal record, meeting other certification requirements, or the program or the University itself having appropriate accreditation or licensure.

Upon completion of the executive leader concentration and meeting the requirements of the certifying organization, you may be eligible to sit for the Nurse Executive or the Nurse Executive, Advanced, certification examination through the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the Certified in Executive Nursing Practice certification exam through the American Organization for Nursing Leadership.

Upon completion of the nurse educator concentration, you may be prepared to sit for the National League for Nursing's Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) examination.

Upon completion of the family nurse practitioner, primary care population focus area, you may be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Family Nurse Practitioner certification or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners’ Family Nurse Practitioner certification. These are primary care certifications. After earning either certification, you may be academically eligible for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse in any state in which the program is available for enrollment; please see Program Availability Information.

Upon completion of the adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner population focus area, you may be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner certification or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners’ Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner certification. After earning either certification, you may be academically eligible for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse in any state in which the program is available for enrollment; please see Program Availability Information.

Upon completion of the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner population focus area, you may be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification or the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses’ Acute Care Nurse Practitioner certification. After earning either certification, you may be academically eligible for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse in any state in which the program is available for enrollment; please see Program Availability Information.

Upon completion of the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner population focus area, you may be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification. This certification is for populations across the lifespan. After earning the certification, you may be academically eligible for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse in any state in which the program is available for enrollment; please see Program Availability Information.

Please note that most states require nurses to be nationally certified and to have completed an accredited graduate nursing program in order to obtain licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse. Each national certification provider and state Board of Nursing will have eligibility requirements in addition to these educational requirements, such as passing a criminal background check. It is your responsibility to determine whether you will be eligible for state Board of Nursing approval and certification as an advanced practice registered nurse in your state. Please visit the following websites for more information: