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Master of Science in Nursing

Elyza PadillaPictured | Elyza Padilla, BSN, RN | BSN, Bethel College, 2017 | Edwardsburg, Michigan (hometown)

Photo provided by the School of Nursing

Master of Science in Nursing Tracks

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Track
Purpose Statement

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree track 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. FNP graduates will be eligible to take the FNP certification exam offered by either the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

The MSN Family Nurse Practitioner track is a 42 credit hour, postbaccalaureate graduate degree. Applicants to the track 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 pfroblem solve and utilize Evidence Based Practice (EBP) in clinical practice. All degree requirements must be completed within six years of initial program enrollment.

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) are needed to meet the growing regional demand for health care, as well as to address critical shortages of primary care providers. APRNs use theory, research, and clinical expertise to improve the health of adults.

The program is designed to meet the educational needs of the 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.

Nursing Administration Track
Purpose Statement

This track prepares professionals for mid-level and senior nursing leadership positions in various healthcare-related settings. Graduates will explore leadership and decision-making processes including financial stewardship, analysis of research and health policy, and strategic planning. Graduates will support improvements in healthcare delivery through enhanced leadership roles, effective process improvement, and driving change in a variety of health settings. Graduates are eligible for national certification through certifying organizations.

Nurse Educator Track
Purpose Statement

This track is dedicated to the development of professionals in the advanced specialty role of the nurse educator. Graduates are prepared to facilitate learning, learner development and socialization, use assessment and evaluation strategies, participate in curriculum design and evaluation of program outcomes, function as a change agent and leader, pursue continuous quality improvement in the nurse educator role, engage in scholarship, and function within the educational environment (NLN, 2012). Graduates are eligible for national certification as nurse educators through the National League for Nursing.

Post Masters Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate Track
Purpose Statement

Nurse Practitioners who have completed a MSN degree (with or without an additional NP certification) are eligible to apply for this new Certificate Track. Students will complete four semesters of courses in Primary Care management with a required minimum of 500 clinical hours. 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. FNP graduates will be eligible to take the FNP certification exam offered by either the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

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

Clinical Placements

Clinical placement is a complex process and a shared responsibility between the student and faculty. The Graduate Program Director and faculty will assist with planning placements for clinical rotation. We will make every reasonable effort to accommodate a student's placement requests. Specialty locations will be incorporated in the student's clinical experiences throughout the program and are not limited to one semester.

Grading Scale

All courses in the IU South Bend School of Nursing MSN degree program utilize the following grading scale in all nursing courses. An attainment of at least a B–, or 80 percent, is required to successfully pass a course. Failure to receive a final grade of B– will require the student to retake the course.

  • 100‐97 A+
  • 96‐93 A
  • 92‐90 A‐
  • 89‐87 B+
  • 86‐83 B
  • 82‐80 B‐
  • 79‐77 C+
  • 76‐75 C
  • 74‐70 C‐
  • 69‐67 D+
  • 66‐63 D
  • 62‐60 D-
  • 59 and below F

The official grade code of Indiana University includes quality points for the purpose of determining the cumulative grade point average.

Graduation Requirements

Students assume responsibility for meeting degree requirements and for filing an official application for a degree. Application for the degree must be made at the time of program planning for the final semester. The student must file the degree application with the School of Nursing recorder by March 1 for December graduation.

Students in the Masters of Science in Nursing degree program are responsible for meeting the following degree requirements. Though the School of Nursing makes every attempt to provide students with academic advising and program planning assistance, students are accountable for complying with all published academic policies related to the Master of Science in Nursing degree program. To be eligible for graduation from the program students must:

Complete a minimum of:

  • FNP Track | 42 credit hours with a grade of B- or higher in each course required for the degree (including 600 clinical hours).
  • Nursing Administration Track | 36 credit hours with a grade of B- or higher in each course required for the degree.
  • Nursing Education Track | 36 credit hours with a grade of B- or higher in each course required for the degree.
  • Post Masters Certificate | 15 credit hours with a grade of B- or higher in each course required for the certificate.
  • Achieve a grade of B- or higher in all courses applied to the MSN degree.
  • Complete all MSN degree requirements within six years of enrolling in the first nursing course in the nursing major.
  • Apply for degree candidacy the semester prior to completing all degree requirements, following the published procedures on the campus awarding degree.
Completion of Degree Requirements

The registrar must receive all removal of incompletes, deferred grades, special credit, and independent study grades no later than three weeks prior to the end of classes of the student’s last semester or summer session before graduation.


In accordance with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations and local health facilities requirements, nursing students are required to provide:

  • Immunization verification for Hepatitis B
  • Immunization verification for TDap (Tetanus/Diptheria/Pertussis) within 10 years
  • MMR (two doses of MMR or two doses of ProQuad or mumps titer of 1:10 is required)
  • Varicella vaccine or history of the disease
  • Tuberculosis (TB) testing within three months of patient contact
  • Up-to-date completed health evaluation (within one year)
  • For more details, see Policy AS-23-C

CPR Requirements

Current certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is required. Students must be certified through an approved course or instructor. The approved course is the American Heart Association Health Care Provider. The Health and Wellness Clinic also offers CPR courses (

Current CPR certification must be maintained throughout the student’s entire nursing program. Students must have current CPR certification on file in order to participate in clinical settings.

For more details, see Policy AS-17-B.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory and students are expected to demonstrate insurance coverage upon entrance to the program and continued coverage throughout the program.

For more details, see Policy AS-17-B.

Graduate students are responsible for all financial costs of health/medical care related to or resulting from injury or accidents while engaged in course related experiences. These experiences may occur in the classroom, learning laboratory, or practice setting. Therefore, all undergraduate and graduate students are required to carry health insurance while they are enrolled in courses in your major or discipline or study track.  Students will not be allowed to participate in major course experience without adequate documentation of current health insurance.

Drug Screening

Students currently enrolled will be required to complete a drug screen upon admission and will be required to renew it annually. It is the responsibility of each applicant and student to pay the fee for the drug screening. Drug screens are performed at the Health and Wellness Center on campus. Students may be asked to submit to random drug screens anytime throughout their program in compliance with contract requirements of clinical agencies where students are placed. Positive drug screens may prevent a student from participating in clinical learning experiences. Lack of participation could constitute course failure and potential for dismissal from the program.

For more details, see Policy AS-12-B.

Statement of Essential Abilities

Graduate students must sign the Essential Abilities at the beginning of the program and are required to adhere to them throughout the program.

Failure to meet one or more of the essential abilites may hinder progression or result in dismissal from the Nursing Program. Any student who is questioning their ability to meet one or more of the Essential Abilities should contact the disability services officer at (574) 520-4460.

Professional Nursing Requirements

Students must maintain active health care provider level CPR status and Indiana RN licensure.

Criminal Background Check

Criminal history background checks are required of all graduate nursing students in compliance with state and federal (House Bill 1633) regulations for individuals in clinical settings and working with patients and individuals who are vulnerable or minors. Licensure is also contingent upon the absence of most felony and some misdemeanor charges. An updated check for an enrolled student might have a bearing on the clinical site in which the student will be placed. Students will be asked to complete a criminal disclosure form each year in the fall.

A past criminal history may become a significant barrier to clinical practicum rotation placements. In addition, current Indiana law states that individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes may not be employed by or operate a home health facility or work in the Indiana public school system. While a conviction of a crime does not automatically disqualify a student from participation in community-based clinical, a criminal history may be grounds for denying progression depending on the facts and circumstances surrounding each individual case.

For more details, see Policy AS-07-B.

Credit Transfers

Students must obtain the consent of the graduate program director before credit earned at other institutions may be added to the official transcript. A maximum of 6 credit hours with a minimum grade of B- in courses that fulfill the curriculum requirements may be transferred from an accredited college or university with the consent of the graduate program director. Credit hours used to meet requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing may not be used toward the Master of Science in Nursing. Students wishing to take graduate-level courses at another university to transfer to IU South Bend are highly encouraged to seek advising regarding credit transferability. Requests to transfer courses are reviewed on an individual basis. Specific information regarding transfer of credit hours can be obtained from the graduate program director.

Social Networking

IUSON (IU School of Nursing) faculty, staff, and students must adhere to the IU and IUSON policies and procedures and HIPAA obligations related to patient privacy, confidentiality and code of conduct at all times when using the Internet and social media sites. IUSON policies toward the use of social media are guided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. In the event that a violation of the social networking policy has occurred, the student’s case will be handled according to the IUSON process for dealing with academic misconduct as outlined in the IUPUI Bulletin and IU Code of Student, Ethics Rights and Responsibilities. Students who violate the policy are subject to disciplinary actions which may lead to dismissal from the program.

For more details, please see Policy 7.24

Non-Discrimination Policies

Per Indiana University South Bend Policy, The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Indiana Civil Rights Act, and Indiana University policy prohibit discrimination in employment and educational programs against qualified individuals with disabilities. It is the policy of Indiana University to provide reasonable accommodations or academic adjustments when necessary. These accommodations and adjustments must be made in a timely manner and on an individualized and flexible basis.

For more details, see


School of Nursing students must be able to send and receive e-mail, and send and receive attachments. They should be comfortable using a Web browser to access Canvas, the University's learning management system, and to navigate the course environment and use the tools included in their courses. Students should use appropriate Internet etiquette in online communications. They should be able to search for and access nursing-related materials on the Web, and to return to those sites later by using stored Web addresses. Students should be able to competently use Microsoft Word and PowerPoint to create and appropriately format written assignments and basic presentations. They should be able to differentiate between scholarly and popular sources of information on the Web and to evaluate sources for general reliability and trustworthiness. To update skills, students have many opportunities for both classroom and online learning sources through the University Information Technology (UITS) IT Training.

For more details, see Policy IT-03-B


The baccalaureate and master’s programs at IU South Bend are accredited by the

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

We are very proud that the CCNE, a national agency for the accreditation of baccalaureate and graduate-degree nursing education programs, accredited the Master’s in Nursing Program, Indiana University South Bend, School of Nursing through February 25, 2025.

Academic Bulletins

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2023-2024 Campus Bulletin
2022-2023 Campus Bulletin
2021-2022 Campus Bulletin
2020-2021 Campus Bulletin
2019-2020 Campus Bulletin
2018-2019 Campus Bulletin
2017-2018 Campus Bulletin
2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

Please be aware that the PDF is formatted from the webpages; some pages may be out of order.