Oct 02, 2023  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing (BSN to MSN), M.S.N.

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Priority Admission Application Deadlines: http://www.grad.usf.edu/majors


  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with Occupational Health Nursing Sub-Specialty
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Education
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Also offered as a Concurrent Degree

Contact Information

College: Nursing

Contact Information: http://www.grad.usf.edu/majors

The major in Nursing leading to a Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) degree prepares its graduates for careers as nurse practitioners and  nurse educators. Students choose from a variety of nursing specialty options in advanced practice roles and enroll in a prescribed set of core courses central to all specialty options as well as courses specific to their concentration.  Successful completion of the master’s practitioners program qualifies students to take appropriate national certification examinations and apply for licensure as an APRN in Florida and other states.  Nurse Educator graduates are eligible for national certification from the National League of Nursing, and the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing.


Master’s Program Goals

The Master’s Program prepares graduates:

  • for advanced practice with diverse populations at the individual, family and community level
  • to use patient-care and communication technologies to enhance and coordinate the delivery of high quality, culturally appropriate care
  • to translate research outcomes, resolve problems, and disseminate results in the educational and clinical practice settings
  • to utilize organizational and systems leadership skills in the promotion of culturally responsive, high quality and safe patient care
  • to analyze and intervene at the system level through the policy development process
  • to understand health professions’ scope of practice employing collaborative strategies to design, coordinate and evaluate care
  • to develop a more extensive and in-depth understanding of current and evolving practice issues, interprofessional and collaborative practice models, innovative health care strategies, nursing, and the related sciences; and in turn how to integrate this knowledge into education and practice.
  • to critique, advocate, and integrate the knowledge created by researchers, translationalists, and theoretical scholars
  • to use data from technology systems to evaluate and enhance health care delivery.


Major Research Areas

Nursing, Health, Healthcare, Practice, Clinical Prevention, Health Assessment, Health Management, Acute Care, Nursing Education


Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements, as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below. Certain concentrations are highly competitive.  Admission criteria include:

  • Bachelor’s in Nursing or RN with Bachelors in relevant field.
  • Current unencumbered license as a registered nurse and/or an advanced practice nurse in the United States upon matriculation. Current license as a registered nurse and/or an advanced practice nurse in the State of Florida before the first clinical course.
  • Three letters of recommendation, indicating potential for graduate study, from persons who can attest to the applicant’s academic ability, clinical competence, and commitment. Optimally, these letters will be from a healthcare provider (such as an APRN, PA or MD), nursing professors, and clinical supervisors.
  • Current resume or curriculum vita.
  • A personal interview with a designated faculty member is required
  • Applicants to the M.S.N. program are required to complete both a NursingCAS application and a USF Graduate Studies Application. 
  • It is recommended, but not required, to submit competitive GRE scores.
  • Applicants interested in the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner concentration must have at least one year of ICU /acute care work experience prior to matriculation to meet professional practice requirement for clinical placements.
  • Registered nurses who have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline will be required to complete the following bridge courses with a letter grade of “B/S” or greater and a GPA of 3.00 or better before progression:
    • NUR 3805 - Nursing as a Profession Credit(s): 3
    • NUR 4169C - Evidence Based Practice for Baccalaureate Nurses Credit(s): 3
    • NUR 4634C - Population Health Credit(s): 3
    • NUR 4828C - Foundations of Nursing Leadership & Management Credit(s): 3
    • NUR 4895 - Educational Role of Nurse in Healthcare Credit(s): 3

Note - to view information on the Undergraduate Courses, refer to the Undergraduate Catalog.

Please note before starting the application process, international students may have additional restrictions stipulating course delivery format for their program of choice. Please refer to USF World for further information on these requirements.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Credit Hours - 40

  • Core - 24 credit hours minimum
  • Additional Required Course - 3 Credit Hours*
  • Concentration - 16 credit hours minimum

*not required for Nursing Education Concentration


Students must complete the Major core requirements and then the requirements as specified for the Concentration.  Concentration hours vary, so in some instances students will graduate with  more than the 42 hour minimum for the major. Minimum hours required for the major and selected concentration must be satisfied for degree completion. 

Sequencing of courses is particularly important and core requirement courses below must be successfully completed prior to beginning clinical coursework. All foundational level clinical courses in the advanced practice nursing tracks must be completed in sequence per an approved program plan unless otherwise approved by faculty.

Additional Required Course (3 Credit Hours)

  • Credit Hours: 3 *this course is not required for the Nursing Education Concentration

  • **M.S.N. students must have between 540 to 720 post-baccalaureate supervised clinical hours at the time of graduation, depending on the concentration. All clinical placements will be in Florida and may be anywhere in the state.


Students can select from the following Concentrations:

Comprehensive Exam

Prior to clearance for the degree, candidates must perform satisfactorily on a comprehensive examination. Students must be enrolled for a minimum of two (2) hours of graduate credit during the semester when the comprehensive examination is taken. If the exam is taken between semesters, the student must be enrolled for a minimum of two (2) hours of graduate credit in the semester before or following the exam.

Comprehensive Exam for Nurse Practitioner Concentrations
Comprehensive exams are specific to each concentration and all students must pass their comprehensive exam in no more than three attempts to fulfil the MS degree requirements. For students who do not meet the three-attempt threshold, an additional comprehensive evaluation to determine student competency in the discipline will be applied. 

Comprehensive Exam for Nursing Education Concentration
The comprehensive exam consists of three parts: a written take-home examination, a portfolio, and a self-evaluation based on the NLN Core Competencies found in the Scope of Practice for Academic Nurse Educators, 2012. Students unsuccessful on the written take home exam will be provided a second attempt. If unsuccessful after the retake, an oral exam will be scheduled.

Adherence to Degree/Program Plans

Admitted students are expected to meet with their academic advisor to determine the appropriate course sequence to meet the curriculum requirements. In some concentrations, the concentration director will develop the program plan with the student and forward the program plan to the academic advisor. Once a program plan is determined, students are expected to adhere to this plan unless special permission is obtained. As not all courses are offered each semester, a student who deviates from the program plan understands that delay in graduation can be expected Priority is given to students who maintain initial degree plans.

Clinical and/or site placements are based on preceptor and/or site availability. While every effort is made to assign students to preceptor/clinical sites near their residence, it is not always possible, and thus, students will need to be flexible. Students may find it useful to meet with the concentration director to understand speciality course focus and/or clinical course demands and plan accordingly.

Concurrent Degree

Also available as a Concurrent Degree  

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