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MS in Nursing

Pictured | Lisa Mae | Master of Science in Nursing | B.S.N., Texas Women's University, 1995 | Culver, Indiana (hometown)

Master of Science in Nursing

Program Description

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program at IU South Bend prepares its graduates for leadership roles in advanced nursing practice as Family Nurse Practitioners. The goal of the MSN is to develop nurses with the advanced practice nursing skills to increase the potential of our regional health care delivery system to improve the health of our communities. Program graduates will be eligible to take the Family Nurse Practitioner (F.N.P.) certification exam offered by either the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

The MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Program is a 42 credit hour, postbaccalaureate graduate degree. Applicants to the program must hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from an accredited institution. The curriculum is roughly divided into three major sections: core foundation, advance practice management and scholarly inquiry. The courses provide the student with a core foundation for advanced practice. The advance practice management courses build upon that foundation, adding knowledge and its application in the direct clinical experience of advanced practice nursing. Scholarly inquiry provides the student with tools to problem solve and utilize EBP in clinical practice. All degree requirements must be completed within six years of initial program enrollment.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are needed to meet the growing regional demand for health care, as well as to address critical shortages of primary care providers. APRN's use theory, research, and clinical expertise to improve the health of adults. Admission requirements and core courses for this track are the same as for the Family Nurse Practitioner curriculum.

The program is designed to meet the educational needs of working Registered Nurse, and is structured as a cohort-based, year-round, part-time study model. Degree requirements may be met through a combination of distance accessible and campus-based coursework. Clinical work is arranged in consultation and is undertaken under the guidance of a faculty member and a preceptor. Clinical placements are designed to meet individual goals as well as overall learning outcomes.

Program Outcomes

The graduate of the MSN degree program will be prepared to do the following:

  • Model excellence in nursing leadership to improve nursing practice within a complex health care system
  • Perform advanced nursing practice within ethical-legal guidelines, professional policies and regulations, and standards of practice associated with a specialty area of practice
  • Synthesize knowledge from nursing as well as biological, behavioral, social, administrative, educational, and communication sciences for application to a chosen domain of advanced practice nursing
  • Demonstrate scholarly inquiry and reflection that exemplifies critical, creative, and systems thinking to advance the practice of nursing
  • Frame problems, design interventions, specify outcomes and measure outcome achievement while balancing human, fiscal, and material resources to achieve quality health outcomes
  • Use information technology and knowledge-based resources to manage and transform data that informs clinical practice
  • Systematically apply knowledge from research findings and best evidence to answer clinical questions, solve clinical problems, and develop innovative nursing interventions and health policies for selected patient populations.
  • Demonstrate collaborative practice and interpret nursing science within an interdisciplinary context
  • Articulate the effects of culture, diversity, values, and globalization in the design, delivery, and evaluation of health services
  • Engage in life-long learning activities that contribute to professional development as well as the advancement of nursing

M.S.N. Admission Criteria

Admission to the Indiana University South Bend School of Nursing master's program requires approval by the faculty and is based on the applicant’s qualifications as evidenced by grade point average, statement of professional aspirations, official transcripts, references, etc. A personal interview may be requested. Acceptance into the program is competitive. The following criteria must be met for unconditional admission:

  • Minimum undergraduate GPA requirement of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale from an Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited baccalaureate program. (Students that do not meet the GPA may still qualify to apply. A letter addressed to the Admission Board explaining deficient GPA or any other extenuating circumstances must be submitted. Contact Tara Celmer at for more information.)
  • Official transcripts from all postsecondary coursework.
  • Copy of current Indiana Registered Nurse (RN) license | A copy of the current Indiana license must be submitted at the time of application. Current unencumbered licensure as an RN in Indiana is requisite. Applicant must also complete a form attesting there is no action pending or have been taken against their licensure in Indiana or any other state they currently hold or have held a license to practice nursing or health care. International applicants not yet licensed in the United States will need to submit evidence of passing the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) examination before applying for an RN license in Indiana. 
  • Statistics requirement | A 3 credit 300-level undergraduate statistics course with an earned grade of C or better.
  • Essay (goal statement) | A 250-word essay describing and explaining professional career aspirations as an advanced-practice registered nurse.
  • Interview | An interview may be required if the qualified applicant pool exceeds the maximum number of students the program is able to accept for a class cohort.
  • Computer skills | Verification of ability to use computer technologies including accessing, retrieving, receiving, and communicating information.
  • Evidence of proficiency in English as a foreign language | Applicants whose native language is not English must take the Web-based version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which has a speaking portion. The applicant’s score must meet the requirements of the IU South Bend Office of Graduate Admissions. International students must apply through the Indiana University South Bend Office of International Student Services.
  • Statement of essential abilities | Applicants must attest that they meet the requisites of the essential abilities policy of the School of Nursing. The policy states that students must demonstrate the essential abilities in a variety of areas (judgment, neurological function, emotional coping skills, intellectual/ conceptual skills, and other behavioral attributes) as well as meet all program progression criteria.
  • References | Applicants need three professional references, at least one from a current manager/supervisor. Persons providing references must complete the Reference Form (see the department).
  • Criminal background check | Applicants must provide verification and results of a federal criminal background check within the past 12 months.

Provisional admission may be granted to applicants not meeting all admission criteria in some selective situations. Provisional admission is granted upon recommendation and endorsement of the IU South Bend Graduate Faculty Council. Students admitted with provisional admission status will be placed on academic probation and must meet the stated terms of their probationary status to progress in the program.

Admission is valid only for the enrollment period designated in the admission letter. Deferred admission may be granted upon written request of the applicant; deferred admission may be subject to changes in admission policies or requirements of the later enrollment period.

Photo credit | Photo provided by the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences

Academic Bulletins

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2018-2019 Campus Bulletin
2017-2018 Campus Bulletin
2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

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