Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) - Online

The Gardner-Webb University School of Nursing provides the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program which offers two areas of study designed to meet the needs of nurses seeking expanded roles in their profession: Nursing Administration or Nursing Education


The MSN Program is in the University's Graduate School and is tailored for adult, working students. The degree with specialty concentration requires 30 to 36 semester hours of graduate credits. In addition to the two areas of concentrated study, the MSN program offers the MSN/MBA dual degree and the RN to MSN option.


The Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Education is designed to prepare students to become professional educators in an academic or health care 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 Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Administration is offered in collaboration with the Graduate School of Business. This program of study seeks to prepare the professional nurse for leadership roles in health care organizations.


The RN to MSN program is designed to facilitate an accelerated and integrated progression for students enrolled in the RN to BSN Program to the Master of Science in Nursing. This program of study allows nurses to apply six hours of graduate course credit to the BSN degree.


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


The courses in the MSN programs of study are offered in a logical sequence from the core requirements of theory, issues, research, statistics, and caring to courses in the major area of concentration. The MSN educational experience culminates in a capstone course requiring the application of knowledge in a thesis.


Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Master of Science in Nursing Program will:

• Integrate scientific findings from nursing, biopsychosocial fields, genetics, public health, quality improvement, and organizational sciences for continual improvement of nursing care across diverse settings.

• Demonstrate organizational and systems leadership to promote high quality and safe patient care that emphasizes ethical and critical decision making, effective working relationships, and a systems-perspective. (Safety) (Teamwork and collaboration)

• Apply the methods, tools, performance measures, and standards related to quality and quality principles within an organization. (Quality improvement)

• Apply research outcomes within the practice setting to resolve practice problems, working as a change agent through dissemination of results. (Evidence-based Practice)

• Use patient-care technologies to deliver and enhance care and communication technologies to integrate and coordinate care. (Teamwork and collaboration) (Informatics)

• Intervene at the system level through a policy development process that employs advocacy strategies to influence health and healthcare. (Safety)

• Function as a professional member and leader of inter-professional teams through communication, collaboration, and consultation with other health professionals to manage and coordinate care. (Teamwork and collaboration)

• Synthesize broad, organizational, client-centered, and culturally appropriate concepts in the planning, delivery, management, and evaluation of evidence-based clinical prevention and population care and services to individuals, families and aggregates/identified populations. ( Patient centered care) (Safety)

• Articulate the understanding that master’s level nursing practice is any form of nursing intervention (including both direct and indirect care components) that influences healthcare outcomes for individuals, populations, or systems.

• Continue to learn and help others learn.


Admissions Requirements

Application for admission to the MSN Program should be made through the Graduate School. Application for admission to the MSN/MBA Program should be made to the Graduate School and to the Graduate School of Business. In order to enroll students from a variety of backgrounds with the greatest potential for successfully completing the program, the following criteria for acceptance will be used:


1. A Baccalaureate Degree in nursing from a regionally accredited institution with a nationally accredited program. 

2. Current unrestricted licensure to practice as a Registered Nurse.

3. GPA of 2.70 on all undergraduate work as evidence by transcripts of all previous college studies.

4. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). (GRE required for the MSN/MBA Program).

5. Three letters of reference.

6. Current, official, satisfactory Criminal Background Check results from the state in which you reside and any other state lived in during the past ten years.

7. Immunizations as required by the university.

8. Completion of a graduate or undergraduate general statistics course which included probability theory, inferential statistics, and descriptive statistics.


RN applicants with a Baccalaureate Degree in another field may be considered for acceptance upon completion of additional required pre-requisites, including:
  • A course in nursing health assessment;
  • A course in community health nursing.


Academic Curriculum

A. Required Common Core

NURS 500: Theoretical Basis for Advanced Practice (3 hrs.)

NURS 501: Nursing and Health Care Systems and Issues (3 hrs.)

NURS 502: Methods of Advanced Research (3 hrs.)

NURS 503: Perspectives of Caring (3 hrs.)

STAT 501: Statistical Techniques for Graduate Research (3 hrs.)


B. Required Courses by Concentration


Nursing Education

NURS 600: The Nurse Educator (3 hrs.)

NURS 601: Curriculum Theory and Application (3 hrs.)

NURS 602: Instructional and Evaluation Strategies (3 hrs.)


Nursing Administration

NURS 606: Nursing Economics and Finance (3 hrs.)

NURS 607: Administration of Nursing and Health Care Organizations (3 hrs.)

BADM 641: Health Care Law and Ethics (3 hrs.)


C. Capstone Experience

NURS 616: Advanced Nursing Specialty Practicum (6 hrs.)

NURS 610: Thesis (3 hrs.)

NURS 612: Thesis (3 hrs.)


Academic Curriculum for the RN with a baccalaureate degree in another field (Nursing BSN pre- or co-requisites):

• Completion of a graduate or undergraduate general statistics course which includes probability theory, inferential statistics, and descriptive statistics.

• Completion of a nursing health assessment course.

• For the Master’s in Nursing Education, completion of a community health course is required.

• For the Master’s in Nursing Administration, completion of a nursing leadership/ management course is required. 

For more details on the program, please download the Information Sheet.


Graduate Admissions

P.O. Box 7256

Gardner-Webb University

Boiling Springs, NC 28017

Phone: (877) 498-4723