Dec 08, 2023  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

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

Department: Dean’s Office


  • 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
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Also offered as a Concurrent Degrees  


The Major in Nursing leading to a Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) degree prepares its graduates for careers as nurse practitioners. 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 M.S.N. program and comprehensive exam qualifies students to take appropriate national certification examinations as shown below and apply for licensure as an APRN in Florida and other states.  

Comprehensive Exam Qualifies NP Graduates to Sit for Certification Exam

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Comprehensive Exam


Adult Gerontology Primary Care Comprehensive Exam


Family Health Comprehensive Exam


Pediatric Health Comprehensive Exam



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 the equivalent bachelors and/or graduate degrees in nursing from a foreign institution.
  • 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 nursing faculty, clinical supervisor, and healthcare provider (APRN, PA, or MD).
  • Current resume or curriculum vita.
  • Official transcripts
  • A personal interview with a designated faculty member may be required
  • Applicants to the M.S.N. program are required to complete both a NursingCAS application and a USF Graduate Studies Application. 
  • GRE is not a requirement or condition for admission.
  • Applicants interested in the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Concentration must have at least one year of ICU work experience prior to matriculation to meet professional practice requirement for clinical placements.

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 - 45

  • Core - 27 credit hours minimum
  • Concentration - 18 credit hours minimum


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 45 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.

The program follows a standard plan and course sequence for part-time or full-time enrollment. The specific sequence of courses for each admission cycle is determined upon admission to the program and students will be provided their specific program plan upon accepting their offer of admission.  Example of BSN to MSN program plans can be viewed here.

Core Requirement (27 Credit Hours)


Students can select from the following Concentrations:

Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner with Occupational Health Nursing Sub-Specialty Concentration (35 credit hours)

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. 

Clinical Site Placements

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