Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Diane Aschenbrenner, MS, RN, CHSE
Jane Balkam, PhD, APRN, CPNP, IBCLC
Simone Christian, MA, Instructional Designer
Rodnita Davis, MSN, RN, CNE
Kathryn Handy, DNP, RN
Amanda Henson, MS, RN, CNE, Director, Center for Caring with Technology
Jenna Hoffman, MS, Academic Success and Advising Coordinator
Zane Hunter, AA, Simulation and Technology Specialist Carol Kurtz-Stack, BA, Adult Student Advisor
Diane Lehmann, MSN, RN, CNE
Deborah Naccarini, DNP, RN, CNE, Associate Dean, Entry-Level and Dual Enrollment Programs
Mary O'Connor, PhD, RN, FACHE
Mary Packard, PhD, RN
Sabita Persaud, PhD, RN, APHN-BC, Associate Dean, Adult Undergraduate and Graduate Programs
Amber Renaud, MSN, RN, Simulation Lab Assistant
Amy Rohrs, BS, Dean's Assistant and Clinical Placement Coordinator
Brittany Lawson, AA, Administrative Assistant
Marleen Thornton, PhD, RN, Director NDMU Online RN to BSN Program
Mark Walker, MS, RN, CNL, CCRN
Kathleen Wisser, PhD, RN, CNE, Dean, School of Nursing

Degrees offered



Main Campus


The MSN in Nursing Leadership has two concentrations, Administration and Education. Grounded in caring science, the Master of Science in Nursing, Leadership in Nursing Education concentration examines the field of curriculum and pedagogy from a variety of research and curriculum perspectives—technical, interpretive/practical, and critical/emancipatory—through directed readings, critical reflective narrative, and a classroom context for scholarly discourse.

The Leadership in Nursing Administration concentration, also grounded in caring science, encompasses analyzing research, policy, legal, and ethical problems, understanding the dynamics of finance, strategic planning, and marketing while implementing innovations to address quality and safe patient care, change management, decision making, and creating a healthy work environment.

Students are admitted to the program as members of a cohort, progressing together in a supportive environment. The 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, generally on the same day of the week and same four-hour period throughout the program. 

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 may be able to waive the MSN Leadership course, NUR-510 and the MSN Informatics course, NUR-520.

To qualify for admission to the Master of Science in Nursing program, students must have:

  • A Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from an accredited college or university, or an equivalent degree from a comparable foreign institution.
  • An undergraduate cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 based on a 4 point scale.
  • An active, unrestricted State of Maryland or compact state RN license. 

The Masters of Science in Nursing degree programs is accredited by the:

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
655 K Street, NW, Suite 750
Washington, DC 20001
P: (202) 887-6791
F: (202) 887-8476

Curriculum (36 Credits)

Concentration in Leadership in Nursing Education

NUR-500 Introduction to Scholarly Caring Inquiry (3)
NUR-501 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (3)
NUR-502 Technology in Nursing Education:  A Caring Presence (3)
NUR-503 Assessment of Student Learning in Nursing Education (3)
NUR-504 Holistic Approaches to Direct Care (2) 
NUR-510  Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for Nurse Educators (3)
NUR-512 Issues and Trends in Nursing Education (3)
NUR-513  Contemporary Leadership in Nursing (2)
NUR-535  Advanced Health Assessment for Nurse Educators (3)
NUR-537 Curriculum Development and Evaluation in Nursing (4)
NUR-542 Advancing Caring Science through Scholarly Inquiry (3)
NUR-605  Teaching in Nursing Education Seminar and Practicum (4)

Concentration in Leadership in Nursing Administration

NUR-500 Introduction to Scholarly Caring Inquiry (3)
NUR-501 Theoretical Foundations of Nursing (3)
NUR-510 Contemporary Leadership in Nursing (2)
NUR-515 Issues and Trends in Nursing Administration (3)
NUR-516 Nursing Administrative Theory and Practice (4)
NUR-518 Health Policy (3)
NUR-520 Nursing Informatics (2)
NUR-542 Advancing Caring Science through Scholarly Inquiry (3)
NUR-620 Leadership and Administration in Nursing Seminar and Practicum (4)
BUS-521 Healthcare Economics (3)
BUS-522 Essentials of Healthcare Finance (3)
BUS-523 The Business of Healthcare (3)


NUR-500 Introduction to Scholarly Caring Inquiry

This course explores foundations of scholarly inquiry in nursing within the context of caring science through the structure and process of circle practice. Students in both administration and education concentrations engage in shared leadership and attend to the well-being of the group. The course emphasizes the scholarly practices of closely reading text, making connections with scholarly literature and lived experience, synthesizing scholarly thought, and writing. Students strictly adhere to the rules of style of the American Psychological Association (APA) for guidance in the writing process, including ethics of authorship. [3 credits]

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 ]

NUR-502 Technology in Nursing Education: A Caring Presence

This course cultivates instructional creativity and pedagogical engagement through an introduction to a variety of tools and strategies. The future MSN educator will consider applications for face to face student engagement, simulated learning activities, and online/hybrid course experiences. Being a caring presence with students in learning experiences is at the heart of this course. Students will explore how to strengthen relationships with in the classroom by providing an environment that embraces technology and nurtures engagement with course content.  [3 credits]

NUR-503 Assessment of Student Learning in Nursing Education

This course focuses on student assessment and evaluation practices in nursing education. Students will explore the theoretical basis for evaluation, in addition to practical applications and strategies. Student will be prepared to utilize both traditional and non-traditional methods of assessment to assess student learning outcomes.  This course includes content on providing meaningful feedback; test construction and psychometric evaluation; the development and grading of written assignments; evaluation in the clinical performance; and the use of self-assessment.  Current trends in assessment and evaluation within nursing education will be explored, in addition to the tension between traditional and emancipatory pedagogies.  [3 credits]

NUR-504 Holistic Approaches to Transforming Direct Care

This course provides students with the opportunity to explore their direct care role from a caring holistic approach. Students will integrate advanced level health assessment, physiology, pharmacology, and holistic nursing practices to support their role as nurse educator. Students will apply these advanced concepts to their chosen direct care focus. Students are challenged to transform their nursing practice and outcomes of those they serve from a holistic lens.  [ 2 credits ]

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 ]

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 ] 

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 degrees 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]

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 ] 

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].

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 data 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.  [ 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 advanced health assessment skills in specialty advanced nursing practice. Integration of skills and techniques in collecting health assessment data towards appropriate decision-making and clinical assessments in select populations are emphasized in this didactic course.  Particular attention will be paid to teaching strategies for health assessment.  [3 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-542 Advancing Caring Science through Scholarly Inquiry

This course provides the opportunity for graduate nursing students to engage in enhanced critical inquiry activities as they analyze, interpret, and evaluate research studies There will be an emphasis on problem identification; design principles; and accessing, analyzing, disseminating and applying nursing research. Students will explore current evidence to guide the development of a research proposal grounded in caring science in their area of interest.  The expectation is that students have successfully completed NUR-440 or an equivalent research design course and are familiar with the essentials of nursing research.  [3 credits]

NUR-605 Teaching in Nursing Education Seminar and 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.   [4 credits]

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. Seminars focus on an array of issues surrounding the role of the nursing administrator. [4 credits]