How the Program Works
- This is an intensive master's option that is typically completed in two years of full-time study. Flexible plans of study are also available.
- 65 credit hours of classroom and laboratory instruction are required, including:
- essential nursing courses
- coursework in health policy, health care systems, information management and technology, ethics, social justice, wellness, and more
- 900 clinical hours
- Students are admitted in the fall and spring.
- Two electives are included in the plan of study, and you have the option to take others, so you can tailor your education to your interests, building upon your previous work and life experience or trying out new directions.
The curriculum is aligned with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education , which focus on competency-based education (CBE). CBE is a student-centered approach that focuses on demonstrating knowledge, skills, and attitudes as students progress through their education. It prepares students to provide equitable care to diverse patient populations by encouraging cultural competence, understanding of social determinants of health, and the importance of addressing health care disparities. It also:
- fosters personal responsibility
- promotes equity by accommodating diverse learners
- provides individualized learning through focused feedback
- clarifies faculty expectations and enhances relationships between faculty and student
- connects curriculum to real-world scenarios
- fosters collaboration with shared goals
- ensures practice readiness for a seamless transition into the workforce
- promotes personal growth through motivation, collaboration, and lifelong learning
Nursing graduates with the competencies outlined in the Essentials will be well prepared to take the Next Generation NCLEX exam. CBE effectively develops critical thinking and judgment skills in graduates, enhancing their chances of passing the licensing exam and thriving in their nursing careers.
We are flexible, so you can be, too: This program offers pathways to a doctorate, a certificate, a nursing specialty, or deeper exploration of a variety of topics. Some of the pathways allow you to take courses you can apply toward a future degree or certificate.
If you want:
- A doctorate: Take electives that can count toward a DNP or lead to a PhD.
- A certificate: Take courses that can help you complete a graduate certificate, post-licensure.
- A nursing specialty: Focus your electives in a particular area of practice, such as nursing leadership, critical care/emergency nursing, or pediatric nursing, to name a few.
- To explore: Simply choose electives in a variety of subject areas that interest you, perhaps building off of your previous education or career.
Upon Completion of the Program, You Will be:
- awarded a Master of Science in Nursing degree
- eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for licensure as a registered nurse
What You'll Do
Our graduates leverage their former life experience and nursing master's degree to pursue a variety of health care careers with roles that include:
- direct patient care
- case management
- nurse navigation
- clinical research
- nurse and patient education
- quality and safety management
- unit management
Some have also gone on to start their own businesses.
If you wish to pursue a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at UMSON, there is no need to repeat coursework you've already completed for your master's degree. You can save up to 9 credits over the traditional entry-into-practice path to the DNP and up to 12 credits if you choose to take a third elective. Your personalized plan of study will be determined at the time of admission to the DNP program.