Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Degrees offered



Main Campus

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.

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)


NUR-501 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing

Focuses on the exploration of nursing knowledge development to include philosophy, theories, and conceptual models designed to guide patient care, inform health care delivery system decision-making, educational programming and nursing administration. A first course in the program, grounding learners in nursing science. [ 3 credits ](1:9, 28 hours)

NUR-507 Nursing Research II: Proposal

Guides the learner in using the literature review developed in EDU-543 to build a strong research study proposal that has potential for funding. The final course product will reflect a clear understanding of all stages and steps of the research process and the content of a credible research proposal. Prerequisite: NUR-543. [ 3 credits ] (1:7, 2 4-hour seminars plus individual faculty/student meetings).

NUR-510 Contemporary Leadership in Nursing

Provides opportunities to critically examine multiple leadership theories, styles and approaches in nursing with emphasis on the interrelationships among leaders, followers and the entire multi-disciplinary team. In addition, excellence in nursing leadership will be explored along with the implications and responsibilities of the nurse leader for shaping today's changing educational and health care environments. [ 2 credits ] (1:9, 28 hours).

NUR-511 Portfolio Development for Nurse Educator Practice Nursing

This course will guide the student in creating a professional portfolio that can be used to collect and reflect on lifelong achievement, while providing institutions with evidence of student success. Portfolios reflect the critical processes of knowledge development in which the student is involved with, various professional activies, and personal reflection of the experiences associated with these diverse activities. [ 1 credit ]

NUR-512 Issues and Trends in Nursing Education

Uses a case-study and seminar format to help students explore contemporary issues and trends in nursing education. Students will be introduced to fundamental legal and ethical principles which influence the quality of public and private education. They will become acquainted with the American legal process, basic legal terminology, selected precedents, and landmark cases in nursing education. Students will also have the opportunity to self-select trends in education for in-depth exploration and construct strategies to meet common challenges within diverse practice settings. [ 3 credits ] (1:9, 28 hours).

NUR-513 Curriculum Development and Evaluation in Nursing

Introduces students to the history, theories, education taxonomies and critical thinking that influence curriculum development both in academia and the clinical setting. Students will learn to develop a formal plan of study that provides the philosophical underpinnings, goals and guidelines for the delivery of RN educational programs, including associate, baccalaureate, master's deg rees and staff development. Systematic curriculum and program evaluation will be examined through the lens of educational evaluation models and accreditation in the academic and practice setting. [ 4 credits ] 1:9, 28 hours).

NUR-515 Issues and Trends in Nursing Administration

Examines ethical and legal issues in nursing administration and applies relevant principles to increasingly complex practice problems. Through the case study method, learners become acquainted with the American legal process, basic legal terminology and the diversity of legal issues that affect nurse administrators. [ 3 credits ] (1:9, 28 hours).

NUR-516 Nursing Administrative Theory and Practice

Applies administrative theory and management principles and processes to roles in management/ administration in health related organizations. Additionally, a framework for strategic planning is used to consider assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of strategic initiatives applicable to nursing leadership. [4 credits ] (1:9, 28 hours).

NUR-518 Health Policy

Examines historical and current health policy issues related to socio-political environment, economics of health care, legislative and regulatory influences and how these apply to the practice of the nurse leader. Considers the various stakeholders involved in health policy and their perspectives and strategies. [ 3 credits ] (1:9, 28 hours).

NUR-520 Nursing Informatics

This course will prepare the graduate nursing student to evaluate and use current technologies to deliver and coordinate care across multiple settings, analyze point of care outcomes, and communicate with individuals and groups, including the media, policymakers, other healthcare professionals, and the public. In addition, it will foster an attitude of openness to innovation and continual learning and a deep understanding of the ethical implications of rapidly growing healthcare cata management systems. Students will be able to educate key stakeholders using current technologies and understand the principles related to the safe and effective use of care and information technologies. Will be offered every Winterim semester. [ 2 credits ]

NUR-535 Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Educators

The course expands on undergraduate skills in systematic health assessment across the life span. The student will learn adanced health assessment skills in specialty advanced nursing practice. Integration of skills and techniques in collecting health assessment data towards appropriate decision-making, clinical assessments in select populations is emphasized in this didactic course. Particular attention will be paid to teaching strategies for health assessment. [ 2 credits ]

NUR-537 Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for Nurse Educators

This course introduces and integrates general principles of pharmacology with pathophysiological phenomena. It is designed to provide future nurse educators with a holistic and advanced understanding of disease as disordered normal body physiology. As such, students will have an enhanced ability to teach the disease process and related potential sequelae. This course will explore the mechanism(s) related to the production of signs, symptoms, complications, treatments, and interventions of different disease states and specific health problems. Innovative teaching strategies for selected alterations in health are used with emphasis on pathophysiological concepts and pharmacological interventions. Nurse educator students will experience being the learner using a variety of teaching learning methods. This course does not meet requirements for prescriptive authority. [ 3 credits ]

NUR-543 Synthesis of the Literature

Designed to provide students with advanced skills and abilities to critically analyze, interpret, and evaluate nursing research related to a specific nursing problem. The focus of the course will be of a critical, comprehensive review of literature that will provide a strong foundation for writing a beginning nursing research proposal in Nursing Research II. [ 3 credits ] (1:9, 28 hours).

NUR-605 Teaching in Nursing Education Practicum

Provides an internship in the appropriate educational setting that complements the intended career path of each learner. Students will deliver didactic and clinical instruction under the guidance of a selected nurse preceptor. Opportunities to attend curriculum and evaluation meetings and to participate in advising will be provided. Part of this course will include an integration seminar. Prerequisite: Departmental permission of the department chair. [ 6 credits ], (2 theory, 1:9; 4 clinical 1:18). Five seminar meetings and 72 practicum hours.

NUR-620 Leadership and Administration in Nursing Seminar and Practicum

Supports learners in the development of individual behavioral objectives for placement with a nursing administrator preceptor in a clinical setting. The focus of the course is on exploration of theory through participation, research, and observation of organizational functioning and nursing leadership. Students progress in the role of nurse manager/administrator with increasing involvement in the implementation of the role. Emphasis begins with organizational and departmental structure and then expands the focus to include responsibility for a program or project agreed upon by the learner, preceptor and faculty. To the extent feasible, students practice autonomously, with the preceptor and faculty as resources. Five seminars focus on an array of issues surrounding the role of the nursing administrator. Prerequisite: Departmental permission of the department chair. [ 6 credits ], (2 theory, 1:9; 4 clinical 1:18). Five seminar meetings and 72 practicum hours.