Master of Science in Nursing Academic Program

Make your mark on aspiring nurses as an educator and leader. Gardner-Webb’s MSN program helps you improve Christ-inspired patient care and promote and manage a positive nurse environment.

MSN Program Options

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program at Gardner-Webb University offers two options designed to meet the needs of nurses seeking expanded roles in their profession: Nursing Education and Nursing Administration. In addition to the two areas of concentrated study, the MSN program offers the MSN/MBA dual degree. Certificate options in Nursing Administration and Nursing Education and are also offered to nurses as an avenue to expand their professional nursing role. 

The Nursing Education option is a 36-semester hour course of study in the MSN Program designed to prepare students to become professional educators in an academic or healthcare setting. This program of study allows students the opportunity to enhance their clinical expertise from a theoretical perspective and to apply nursing education and learning principles in practice settings.  

The Nursing Administration option is a 36-semester hour course of study in the MSN Program offered in collaboration with the Graduate School of Business. This program of study seeks to prepare the professional nurse for leadership roles in healthcare organizations.

The MSN/MBA dual degree program option is a 63-semester hour program. This interdisciplinary program combines nursing leadership with a working knowledge of business and managerial skills.

The Nursing Education Certificate option is a ten (10) hour course of study designed for nurses desiring to assume roles as nurse educators in an academic or clinical setting.  

The Nursing Administration Certificate option is a ten (10) hour course of study designed for nurses desiring to expand their professional roles in the area of nursing administration and leadership.          

MSN Program Outcomes     

The MSN program seeks to meet the following program outcomes:

  1. Graduate no less than 70% of students entering the program within 1.5 times the length of the program.
  2. Eighty percent of graduates will:
    1. Express satisfaction with the Master of Science in Nursing Program.
    2. Be involved in role-related Professional Practice one year following graduation.
    3. Demonstrate satisfactory nursing practice to their employers.
YearCompletion Rate
2017-201843.6%
2018-201939%
2019-202067%
2020-2021Pending

MSN Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the MSN program, the graduate will be prepared to:

  1. Integrate interdisciplinary research and strategies to improve nursing practice, promote health, and prevent disease.
  2. Analyze current issues impacting diverse client populations, health care, and nursing practice, with an emphasis on identifying and implementing strategies for enhancement or resolution.
  3. Apply knowledge, concepts, strategies, and evidence-based research findings to enhance nursing across the continuum of health care settings.
  4. Synthesize interdisciplinary knowledge to facilitate application in an advanced specialty role.
  5. Professionally collaborate and communicate within the healthcare environment to foster environments for improved outcomes.
  6. Demonstrate achievement of role specific competencies for the advanced specialty role.

Student learning outcomes for the MSN Program are derived from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education (2021) and from the Graduate Quality and Safety Education for Nurses Competencies (2012).  

Role-Specific Competencies

*Nurse educator competencies are based on NLN’s Nurse Educator Core Competencies

Upon graduation from the MSN Nurse Educator program option student will exhibit competence in:

  1. Facilitating learning
  2. Facilitating learner development and socialization
  3. Using assessment and evaluation strategies
  4. Participating in curriculum design and evaluation of program outcomes
  5. Functioning as a change agent and leader
  6. Pursuing continuous quality improvement in the role of nurse educator
  7. Engaging in scholarship
  8. Functioning within the educational or healthcare environment

*Nurse administrator competencies are based on AONL’s Nurse Executive Competencies

Upon graduation from the MSN Nurse Administrator program option student will exhibit competence in:

  1. Communication and relationship building
  2. Knowledge of the healthcare environment
  3. Leadership
  4. Professionalism
  5. Business skills

MSN Curriculum

Refer to the GWU Academic Catalog for course descriptions.

  • NURS 500 Theoretical Basis for Advanced Practice (3 SH
  • NURS 501 Nursing and Healthcare Systems and Issues (3 SH)
  • NURS 502 Methods of Advanced Research (3 SH)
  • NURS 504 Statistical Techniques for Graduate Research (3 SH)
  • NURS 506 Professional Role Development for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 SH)

Required Courses by Option

  • NURS 600 The Nurse Educator (3 SH)
  • NURS 601 Curriculum Theory and Application (3 SH)
  • NURS 602 Instructional and Evaluation Strategies (3 SH)
  • NURS 610 Thesis/Project (3 SH)
  • NURS 612 Thesis/Project (3 SH)
  • NURS 627 Advanced Nursing Specialty Practicum (3 SH)
  • NURS 628 Advanced Nursing Specialty Practicum (3 SH)

  • NURS 606 Nursing Economics and Finance (3 SH)
  • NURS 607 Administration of Nursing and Healthcare Organizations (3 SH)
  • BADM 641 Health Care Law and Ethics (3 SH)
  • NURS 610 Thesis/Project (3 SH)
  • NURS 612 Thesis/Project (3 SH)
  • NURS 627 Advanced Nursing Specialty Practicum (3 SH)
  • NURS 628 Advanced Nursing Specialty Practicum (3 SH)

MSN/MBA Curriculum

Dual degree students must apply to the Graduate School as well as to the Graduate School of Business, following the admission requirements of the respective programs, and be accepted to each in order to pursue both degrees. Also, when academic policies and standards differ between the two schools, the policies and standards of the appropriate school apply to the respective portion of the dual degree. Candidates for the dual degree must complete the requirements for both degrees prior to graduation. Should a student choose not to pursue one of the degrees to completion, he or she will be responsible for paying any difference in the per course rate(s) actually charged based on pursuing the dual degree and the rate(s) which would have been charged for courses applied toward the selected degree. The student will also be responsible for repaying any scholarships or grants received based on pursuing a dual degree for which the student would not have been eligible based on the selected degree. Additional financial obligations must be satisfied before the student can be awarded the selected degree. In no case will the University refund money when a student opts out of a dual degree program.

  • NURS 606 Nursing Economics and Finance (3 SH)
  • NURS 607 Administration of Nursing and Healthcare Organizations (3 SH)
  • NURS 610 Thesis/Project (3 SH)
  • NURS 612 Thesis/Project (3 SH)
  • NURS 627 Advanced Nursing Specialty Practicum (3 SH)
  • NURS 628 Advanced Nursing Specialty Practicum (3 SH)

MBA Core Component

Refer to the GWU Academic Catalog for information on required courses.

If a person has already completed the MBA degree and wants an MSN/MBA degree he/she must complete the 15 hours of the MSN core, six hours of the Nursing Administration Concentration, six hours of Advanced Nursing Specialty Practicum, and six hours of MSN Thesis/Project. If a person has an MSN degree in Nursing Administration and wants an MSN/MBA degree, he/she must complete 30 hours of the MBA core component.

Courses Required for Certificate Options

  • NURS 600 The Nurse Educator (3 SH)
  • NURS 601 Curriculum Theory and Application (3 SH)
  • NURS 602 Instructional and Evaluation Strategies (3 SH)
  • NURS 627 Advanced Nursing Specialty Practicum (1 SH)

  • NURS 606 Nursing Economics and Finance (3 SH)
  • NURS 607 Administration of Nursing and Healthcare Organizations (3 SH)
  • BADM 641 Health Care Law and Ethics (3 SH)
  • NURS 627 Advanced Nursing Specialty Practicum (1 SH)

MSN Program Options Course Sequence

Semester Fall Enrollment Spring Enrollment
FALL NURS 500
NURS 501
 — 
SPRING NURS 502
NURS 600
NURS 500
NURS 600
SUMMER NURS 504
NURS 602
NURS 504
NURS 602
FALL NURS 506
NURS 601
NURS 506
NURS 601
SPRING NURS 610
NURS 627
NURS 501
NURS 502
SUMMER NURS 612
NURS 628
NURS 610
NURS 627
FALL  —  NURS 612
NURS 628

Semester Fall Enrollment Spring Enrollment
FALL NURS 500
NURS 501
 — 
SPRING NURS 502
NURS 607
NURS 500
NURS 501
SUMMER NURS 504
BADM 641
NURS 504
BADM 641
FALL NURS 506
NURS 606
NURS 506
NURS 606
SPRING NURS 610
NURS 627
NURS 502
NURS 607
SUMMER NURS 612
NURS 628
NURS 610
NURS 627
FALL  —  NUR 612
NURS 628

Practicum

The administration and education tracks in the MSN program are offered in the online format. There are two practicum courses (NURS 627 and NURS 628) in the curriculum. Students should refer to the practicum course syllabus for the most current information, expectations, and guidelines.