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Professional and Technical Standards for Nursing Practice (PDF)

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Professional & Technical Standards
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The Alternate Entry Master of Science (AE-MSN) and the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs are designed for advanced study in select areas of nursing science, professional foundations, related sciences, and modes of systematic inquiry related to advanced and specialized professional nursing practice. ]

The AE-MSN program requires students to have a baccalaureate or graduate degree in disciplines other than nursing and meet other pre-admission requirements. AE-MSN students can choose from one of three concentration areas on which to focus.

The MSN program requires students to have current licensure as a Registered Nurse and hold either a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, or a non-nursing baccalaureate degree and an Associate Degree in Nursing or Nursing Diploma. MSN students can choose one of five concentration areas on which to focus.

The Alternate Entry Doctoral (AE-PhD) and Doctoral (PhD) programs prepare students to become nurse faculty and researchers and to assume advanced leadership roles in nursing and health care delivery. A combination of conceptual approaches, challenging interactions in seminar discussions, and work with active researchers produces a stimulating environment for scholarly development. Click here to download and learn about criteria for choosing a quality PhD program (PDF).

The AE-PhD program is designed for those who hold baccalaureate or graduate degrees in disciplines other than nursing and meet other pre-admission requirements. The PhD program requires that students hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and/or a Master of Science in Nursing degree.

Students select a focus area based on their nursing background, interests, and goals. The focus area provides a broad structure for the student's individualized course of study. Courses from nursing and from non-nursing disciplines offer options for tailoring the program of study to a student's particular focus area. The program is designed to help students identify a dissertation topic, apply for research funding, and begin a lifelong research career.

Registered Nurses holding a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree may apply directly to the Doctoral Program in Nursing (BSN to PhD) rather than the Master of Science in Nursing program. This option is for those interested in research and nursing faculty positions. Students accepted to the program must complete three Master’s level core courses.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a post-master’s degree program provided in a hybrid format. The DNP provides the highest level of professional nursing education for nurses, via a terminal degree in nursing practice which advances the education and leadership competencies of nurses, preparing graduates for increasingly complex practice and clinical specialization leadership roles. 

The DNP program prepares graduates to assume leadership roles to deliver the highest quality patient-centered care as members of interdisciplinary teams, emphasizing evidence-based practice, patient safety, quality improvement approaches and informatics. The DNP curriculum also includes clinical education electives to prepare DNP graduates to pursue roles as clinical educators.