M.S.N. Degree Program

The M.S.N. program in nursing includes three advanced practice options and two advanced role options.

Advanced Practice Options

Advanced Role Options (offered online through Penn State World Campus)

NP graduates are qualified to sit for national certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and/or American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). Once nationally certified, Nurse Practitioner graduates are also eligible to be licensed by the state Board of Nursing.

In addition, graduate credit certificate programs are available to prepare students for additional certification as a Nurse Practitioner (FNP, AGPCNP, or AGACNP), Gerontology Educator, Nurse Administrator, or Nurse Educator.

All nursing courses for the Primary Care Nurse Practitioner option are delivered using synchronous videoconference modalities between University Park and Hershey and extended to the Fayette, Mont Alto, and Worthington Scranton campuses (based on enrollment), with selected courses delivered using an asynchronous online delivery system. The Acute Care Adult Gerontology option is delivered between Hershey and Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania. The Nurse Administrator and Nurse Educator options are offered totally online through Penn State World Campus. Teaching faculty may be physically located at any site (most commonly University Park or Hershey) and often rotate the originating site for their presentation of lectures. Students at all locations have equal access to Penn State resources and are oriented to the system during new student orientation and in courses.

M.S.N. Curriculum

The M.S.N. curriculum consists of three components:

  1. Master's Program Core: 9 credits
  2. Capstone Course: 3 credits scholarly paper
  3. Electives that support emphasis area: minimum of 24–25 credits

The Advanced Practice and Advanced Role options curriculum is made up of four components:

  1. Master's Program Core: 9 credits
  2. Capstone Course: 3 credits scholarly paper
  3. Advanced Practice Nursing Courses: 9 credits (NP, CNS, and Educator only)
  4. Option-Specific Courses: 20–25 credits dependent on the option/specialty

Both part-time and full-time studies are available.

Qualified students may enroll as nondegree students in selected courses. These courses may be transferred into the student's program after admission.

Nondegree students should not take more than 9 credits before being accepted into the master's program.

On admission, the student is assigned to a faculty academic adviser who will guide the student in course scheduling and selection of a thesis/scholarly paper topic. All faculty and staff stand ready to assist students in any way to make this program of study the richest experience possible. Pre-admission questions should be directed to the graduate adviser office (814-867-5026). Post-admission questions should be directed to the graduate adviser, academic adviser, option/program coordinator, or associate dean for graduate education.

For more information on graduate study in nursing at Penn State, send an e-mail to nursgrad@psu.edu or call or write:

Graduate Programs
College of Nursing
The Pennsylvania State University
203 Health and Human Development East
University Park, PA 16802-6508
Telephone: 814-867-5026