School of Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing Program of Study

Notre Dame’s mission and specifically, the SSND charism of unity through diversity, transformation, and building a better world through education is a good fit for and model for the Master of Science in Nursing, which prepares nurse educators and administrators to excel in their healthcare profession. Graduates of this program are prepared to lead in a healthcare system that is changing dramatically. The program stresses competencies and way of being in administrative and educational praxis, presence, advocacy, scholarship, technology, and self-care. Leadership in nursing is emphasized throughout the curriculum.

Students are admitted to the program as members of a cohort, progressing together in a supportive environment.

The accelerated format is designed to meet the needs of busy working nurses who choose part-time study but want to finish in the same amount of time as a full-time student. Classes are taken sequentially, one class at a time, on the same day of the week and the same four-hour period throughout the program. Regular courses range from four to nine weeks in duration, while the required culminating professional practicum is a 14-week experience. During the final semester, students take two courses concurrently throughout the entire semester as well as completing a 90-hour practicum. These final two courses alternate weeks, so students are still attending class one night a week.

Back to top

Program of Study

Students in the program select a concentration in Leadership in Nursing Education or Leadership in Nursing Administration.

The nursing education concentration is planned for the experienced registered nurse who seeks a career as a nurse educator in service or academic settings. Completion of this concentration gives students the knowledge and skills to meet criteria for nurse educator certification. Students will learn how to plan, implement, and evaluate a variety of teaching strategies based on assessment of learner needs, setting, and advanced evidence-based research and curriculum and educational theory. They will learn to use leadership skills and ethical and legal principles to implement policies and procedures related to learners, faculty, and the educational environment.

The curriculum strives to prepare future nurse educators and nurse managers/ administrators for excellence in nursing leadership by grounding them in an academic curriculum that is humanistic, relevant, value-rich, standards/evidence-based, client-centered, theory guided and grounded in reflective practice. The curriculum is designed to offer direction for teaching and learning with a commitment to multiple ways of knowing, supporting creativity, discovery, critical inquiry, and application of relevant practice, administrative, and curriculum theories and nursing models in diverse settings.

The Masters in Science degree program requires the completion of 38 credits. Undergraduate RN-BSN students at NDMU will be considered for provisional early admission to the MSN Program during their final semester. NDMU RN to BSN graduates are able to waive the MSN Leadership course, NUR-510, for the BSN course NUR-432 and the MSN Informatics course, NUR-520, for the BSN course NUR-303.

To qualify for unconditional admission to the Master of Science in Nursing program, students must have an active registered nursing license from Maryland or a compact state; a 3.0 GPA in a BSN program; clinical nursing experience, and a clearly-written essay as outlined on the graduate application.

The nursing graduate programs are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, 404-975-5000).

MSN Student Learning Outcomes


Create a space for leaders in advanced roles for “being-with” students, staff, and other health care colleagues that reveals authentic nursing presence.


Demonstrate and cultivate excellence in leadership praxis through the synthesis of research, theory, and reflective practice.


Lead change by serving as an active voice for nurses and nursing with patients, families, communities, and organizations regarding health policy and social justice within an ethical framework.


Create an environment that promotes critical inquiry through multiple ways of knowing. 


Nurture a place for healing, personal and professional growth, and a culture of caring for self and others.


Foster an environment of excellence and courage for staff and student colleagues to interpret the evidence through the lens of multiple ways of knowing.

Curriculum (38 Credits)

Core Courses (13 Credits)
NUR-501 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (3)
NUR-507 Nursing Research II: Proposal (3)
NUR-510 Contemporary Leadership in Nursing (2)
NUR-520 Nursing Informatics (2)
NUR-543 Nursing Research I: Synthesis of the Literature (3)

Concentration in Leadership in Nursing Education (25 Credits)
NUR-512 Issues and Trends in Nursing Education (3)
NUR-513 Curriculum Development and Evaluation in Nursing (4)
NUR-537 Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for Nurse Educators (3)
NUR-535 Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Educators (2)
NUR-511 Portfolio Development for Advanced Nursing Practice (1)
NUR-605 Teaching in Nursing Education Practicum (6)
EDU-544 Educational Assessment (3)
EDU-556 Technology for Instruction and Management (3)

Concentration in Leadership in Nursing Administration (25 Credits)
NUR-515 Issues and Trends in Nursing Administration (3)
NUR-516 Nursing Administrative Theory and Practice (4)
NUR-518 Health Policy (3)
NUR-620 Leadership and Administration in Nursing Seminar and Practicum (6)
BUS-521 Healthcare Economics (3)
BUS-522 Essentials of Healthcare Finance (3)
BUS-523 The Business of Healthcare (3)

Back to top

Course descriptions for business courses that are part of the MSN program can be found in the Leadership and Management section of this catalog.

Course descriptions for education courses that are part of the MSN program can be found in the Education section of the catalog.