Online Master's Degree in Nursing

At Kaplan University, we are committed to preparing our Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) students for the demands of the profession today and the challenges of tomorrow. Our online master’s in nursing is designed for nurses who desire to advance to the next level in their careers and pursue a growing number of opportunities for professional and personal fulfillment, such as management positions or advanced practice nursing.* 

Why Should You Earn a Master’s Degree in Nursing at Kaplan University?

  • We offer a structured program, designed with the flexibility needed for nurses to balance work and life responsibilities with their studies
  • Prepare for managerial positions and advanced practice roles
  • Specialize in areas such as nurse educator or executive leader, or in the adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner or family nurse practitioner, primary care population focus areas

At this time, residents of Tennessee may not enroll in the nurse educator concentration or executive leader concentration.

Residents of the following states may not enroll in the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner population focus areas: Arkansas, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.  In addition, residents of Kansas may not enroll in the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner population focus area.

Master's Degree in Nursing Program Highlights

Kaplan University’s nursing master’s program offers:

  • A curriculum with specialized courses in organizational theory, health care finance, health policy, human resources, information technology, and health care systems
  • Faculty- and preceptor-guided practicum or clinical experiences in your community designed to provide knowledge and mentoring specific to your pathway
  • Current information and techniques taught by practicing professionals who have advanced degrees in nursing
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Prepare for Certification

Nursing credentials demonstrate your adherence to a higher standard and may be a condition for employment in nursing.†‡

  • Executive leader concentration: Upon completion of the executive leader concentration, you may be eligible to sit for the Nurse Executive or the Nurse Executive, Advanced certification examinations if you also meet the eligibility requirements of the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
  • Nurse educator concentration: Upon completion of the nurse educator concentration, you may be prepared to sit for the National League for Nursing's Certified Nurse Educator (CNE) examination and/or the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Nursing Professional Development board certification examination.
  • Family nurse practitioner population focus area: Upon completion of the family nurse practitioner focus area, you may be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Family Nurse Practitioner certification or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners’ Family Nurse Practitioner certification. These are primary care certifications.
  • Adult-gerontology nurse practitioner population focus area: Upon completion of the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner focus area, you may be eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner certification or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners’ Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner certification. 
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Pathways

Specialized educational degrees in a particular division of nursing can help you increase your opportunities in today's competitive health care field. Our concentration and population focus areas are designed to provide you with specific knowledge and skills to help advance your nursing career.

  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner: Explore how to promote holistic health care to members of the adult and older adult population through assessment, diagnosis, and comprehensive treatment of chronic health problems. Prepare to serve as an advocate for clients as they navigate the health care system. Students will complete 640 hours of clinical experiences in which theoretical knowledge is applied to members of the target population under the supervision of a qualified preceptor and faculty.**
  • Family Nurse Practitioner: Explore how to promote holistic health care to adults and children in a family systems context through the assessment, diagnosis, and management of chronic health problems. Prepare to serve as advocates for clients as they navigate the health care system. Students will complete 640 hours of clinical experiences in which theoretical knowledge is applied to members of the target population under the supervision of a qualified preceptor and faculty.**
  • Executive Leader: Focus on the principles of personnel management, policy development and implementation, budgeting, and the use of information technology in advanced nursing roles. Prepare for administrative or managerial positions and leadership roles in health care systems. Students will complete a practicum experience during which he or she will work with a preceptor who is an experienced seasoned nurse administrator in the contemporary health care setting.
  • Nurse Educator: Focus on developing courses and programs that integrate nursing and educational philosophy. Examine the applications and ethical and legal issues related to the use of technology in teaching. Analyze assessment, measurement, and evaluation methods used in nursing education. Prepare for a faculty or educator role in colleges or schools of nursing, continuing education programs, staff development, clinical education, and patient and community education. Explore strategies for developing effective educational experiences. Students will complete a clinical experience during which he or she will work with a preceptor who is a seasoned nurse educator in the contemporary health care or educational setting.
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Accreditation

The master's degree in nursing program at Kaplan University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).

Higher Education at the Highest Standards

Kaplan University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and committed to the highest standards. Our specific programs hold additional industry-relevant approvals and accreditations.

What are the Career Opportunities?

Kaplan University's Master of Science in Nursing allows you to study online and earn the credentials to pursue career advancement in administrative, education staff development, and advanced practice roles.§ The Master of Science in Nursing is also a foundation for future doctoral studies.#

What Is the Difference Between a BSN and an MSN Degree Path?


A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is the first step to earning an advanced-level degree.# Some nursing careers, such as management and advanced practice registered nurse roles, specifically require a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). While a BSN can open many doors for nurses, an MSN is best suited for those looking to specialize in a certain division of the profession.

How Do I Get Started?

Kaplan University offers multiple start dates, giving you greater flexibility with your education, life, and work schedules.

18

Oct

Online and Campus Start Date

October 18, 2017

08

Nov

Online and Campus Start Date

November 08, 2017

03

Jan

Online and Campus Start Date

January 03, 2018

31

Jan

Online and Campus Start Date

January 31, 2018

21

Mar

Online and Campus Start Date

March 21, 2018

18

Apr

Online and Campus Start Date

April 18, 2018

06

Jun

Online and Campus Start Date

June 06, 2018

05

Jul

Online and Campus Start Date

July 05, 2018

22

Aug

Online and Campus Start Date

August 22, 2018

19

Sep

Online and Campus Start Date

September 19, 2018

07

Nov

Online and Campus Start Date

November 07, 2018

05

Dec

Online and Campus Start Date

December 05, 2018

Curriculum: Executive Leader or Nurse Educator

Desired Track
Executive Leader or Nurse Educator
  • Executive Leader or Nurse Educator
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care
  • Core

    Total Core Credits: 30

    Total Program Credits: 60

    • MN 501: ADVANCED NURSING ROLES Change

      This course explores skills and strategies essential to successful advanced nursing role implementation. Analysis of existing and emerging roles provides a foundation for selection of an individual advanced role specialization and an individual career development plan. Emphasis will be on the articulation of issues specific to the advanced nurse role in practice, administration, education, and informatics.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • MN 502: THEORETICAL FOUNDATIONS OF ADVANCED PRACTICE NURSING Change

      This course explores the evolution of nursing, social science, education, and behavioral science theories and their contribution to the care of individuals, families, and the community. The utility of conceptual models are examined for application to executive, education, and practice leadership.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • MN 504: SCIENTIFIC AND ANALYTIC APPROACHES TO ADVANCED EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE Change

      This course presents an evidence-based approach to promote high-value, safe, and effective health care. The focus is on the assessment of levels of evidence to evaluate emerging health issues, develop competencies in analysis, translate evidence into practice, and explore evidence-based practice innovations. Qualitative and quantitative methods of inquiry and associated statistical analyses are identified. Strategies to create an environment for the integration of evidence-based practice to support executive, education, and practice leadership are identified.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • MN 505: EPIDEMIOLOGY AND HEALTH PROMOTION Change

      This course incorporates theoretical and empirical concepts related to health beliefs, health promotion, and risk reduction of diverse populations. Principles from the Healthy People initiative, epidemiology, biostatistics, and cultural competence guide comparisons of groups and inference development. Strategies and benefits of health promotion interventions are emphasized.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • MN 506: HEALTH POLICY, ETHICAL, AND LEGAL PERSPECTIVES OF THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM Change

      This course provides an opportunity to analyze major ethical theories and those principles underlying direct and indirect care of individuals, families, and communities. Selected concepts, principles, and cases involving legal aspects of care within a framework of critical decision making for advanced nursing roles will be examined. The development and influence of health policy issues on the health care of individuals, families, and populations will be analyzed.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

    • MN 507: PROMOTING OPTIMAL MODELS AND SYSTEMS FOR HEALTH CARE DELIVERY Change

      The course will focus on the dynamic, complex, and integrated health care system and organizational imperatives to deliver high-value, safe and effective health care based on industry standards, key outcome indicators, and cost-quality imperatives. The organization and delivery of health care is explored, including business aspects of health care systems and pertinent financial issues in the relationship between policy and health care system reform. Strategies to develop leadership roles in professional nursing organizations, legislative bodies, and community/consumer organizations will be identified. Various health care delivery systems and reimbursement models will be presented.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

  • Electives

    Total Electives Credits: 30

    Total Program Credits: 60

Curriculum: Concentration

Concentration
Select a Concentration
  • Select a Concentration
  • Executive Leader Concentration
  • Nurse Educator Concentration
  • Please Select a Concentration Above
  • Executive Leader Concentration

    Total Executive Leader Concentration Credits: 30

    Total Program Credits: 60

    • MN 512: LEADERSHIP, ORGANIZATIONAL THEORY, AND BEHAVIOR Change

      This course exposes students to organizational theory and behavior and competencies essential for successful leadership and management roles in a global health care delivery system. There is emphasis on self-analysis and strategies for best practice to effectively implement key leadership and management concepts in dynamic health care environments.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Completion of all core courses in the Master of Science in Nursing or prior completion of a master’s degree with an upper-level major in nursing

      Specialization courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • MN 513: HEALTH CARE FINANCE, STRATEGIC PLANNING, AND BUDGETING Change

      This course examines macro- and microeconomics in profit and nonprofit health care organizations for nonfinancial managers. An analysis of decision making and strategic planning focuses the nursing leader toward plans that effectively promote success in dynamic health care environments. Conceptual and descriptive approaches are utilized to provide an overview of current practices and notable advances in strategic management. A budget is created within a case study model, allowing analysis of potential and actual budget variations.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Completion of all core courses in the Master of Science in Nursing or prior completion of a master’s degree with an upper-level major in nursing

      Specialization courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • MN 514: HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT Change

      This course presents a managerial overview of various aspects of personnel management in a fiscally responsible environment. Activities are designed to familiarize students with recruiting, training, and retaining the best employees; ensuring high performance; and conforming practices to various regulations. Exercises designed to develop ability in personnel policy development and implementation are offered.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Completion of all core courses in the Master of Science in Nursing or prior completion of a master’s degree with an upper-level major in nursing

      Specialization courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • MN 515: INNOVATION IN HEALTH CARE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY—ADMINISTRATIVE AND ADVANCED PRACTICE PRIORITIES Change

      This course focuses on the strategic application of information technology in health care organizations by administrative and advanced practice nursing leaders. Students will explain the role of executive-level practitioner management in planning and operationalizing technologies to enhance health care technology data efficiency; evaluate the challenges of virtualization management models and the requirements for innovative and effective alternatives in health care reform; and critique the legal and ethical oversight responsibilities of the executive nurse when engaging and managing a comprehensive, systematic electronic medical record project.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Completion of all core courses in the Master of Science in Nursing or prior completion of a master’s degree with an upper-level major in nursing

      Specialization courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • MN 520: EXECUTIVE LEADER PRACTICUM Change

      This practicum (90 hours) provides you with a mentored learning experience in the content area and site selected by you and approved by the Practicum Coordinator.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Completion of all core courses in the Master of Science in Nursing or prior completion of a master’s degree with an upper-level major in nursing, and completion of all specialization courses

      Specialization courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • MN 600: EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE PROJECT Change

      As a culmination of the theories in nursing, evidence-based decision making, health policy, finance, health care delivery systems, practice issues, ethics, health promotion, disease prevention, and biostatistics, you will develop a manuscript eligible for publication in a professional nursing journal. The content of this manuscript will reflect your clinical project paper and its outcomes from your prior nursing courses.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      Completion of all core courses in the Master of Science in Nursing or prior completion of a master’s degree with an upper-level major in nursing, and completion of all specialization courses; students may not concurrently register for MN 519, MN 520, MN 534, or MN 599

      Specialization courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

  • Nurse Educator Concentration

    Total Nurse Educator Concentration Credits: 30

    Total Program Credits: 60

    • MN 523: TEACHING AND LEARNING THEORIES AND STRATEGIES Change

      This course explores the advanced nursing practice teaching roles of educating patients and families, health care professionals, and nursing students. Teaching and learning theories are examined as well as teaching strategies and factors that impact learners.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Specialization courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • MN 524: CURRICULUM DESIGN, ASSESSMENT, AND EVALUATION Change

      This course provides content and learning experiences that enable you to comprehend and apply the curriculum development process and assessment and evaluation strategies. You will design, deliver, and evaluate an education program for an audience (patients, staff, or nursing students) and specialty topic of your choice.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      MN 523

      Specialization courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • MN 552: ADVANCED HEALTH ASSESSMENT AND DIAGNOSTIC REASONING Change

      This course addresses the theoretical principles and practical application of advanced physical assessment and history-taking throughout the lifespan. Relationships between assessment findings and underlying physiology and pathophysiology to the healthy and unhealthy client are investigated. Emphasis is on developing critical diagnostic thinking through interpretation of subjective and objective data, identification of normal and abnormal conditions, and the systematic reporting of summative findings. Clinical judgment and clinical reasoning skills are used in establishing differential diagnoses. Students will learn to address variables such as age, culture, ethnicity, and developmental stages into their differential diagnosis and evaluation and management plans.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      MN 551 and MN 553

      Specialization courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • MN 559: ESSENTIALS OF ADVANCED PATHOPHYSIOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY Change

      This course integrates essential knowledge for advanced nursing practice of physiology and pathophysiology, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and genomics across the lifespan. Function and dysfunction of organ systems are analyzed from the cellular level through the integrated organ level. You will examine the pathophysiological factors that influence the incidence and manifestations of acute, episodic, and chronic diseases in populations across the lifespan. Disease processes and symptom management approaches are investigated utilizing an evidence-based approach. Influences of gender, genetic, ethnic, cultural, and temporal variables of human disease are analyzed. Communication and teaching plans for patients and/or families will be explored for pathological states and both prescriptive and non-prescriptive drug therapies.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      None

      Specialization courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • MN 590: APPLYING PRINCIPLES OF ADVANCED NURSING PRACTICE—PRACTICUM Change

      This course explores the advanced nursing practice roles of change agent and leader to influence health care outcomes for individuals, populations, or systems. A synthesis of the MSN and nurse educator program outcomes will be applied to an evidence-based practice project aimed at improving health care outcomes. All projects include a teaching component for patients and/or their families or other health care professionals. Students complete 100 clinical hours for this course.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      MN 523 and MN 524

      Specialization courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

    • MN 603: EVALUATING AND DISSEMINATING PRINICIPLES OF ADVANCED NURSING PRACTICE—PRACTICUM Change

      In this course, students continue to explore the advanced nursing practice roles of change agent and leader through completion, evaluation, and dissemination of their evidenced- based practice project to influence health care outcomes for individuals, populations, or systems. Students complete 100 clinical practicum hours for this course.

      Credits:

      5

      Prerequisites Required:

      MN 590

      Specialization courses are completed within the open electives requirement of the degree plan.

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Adult Gerontology  

Executive Leader 

 Family Nurse Practitioner  

 Informatics 

 Nurse Educator 

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*The master's degree in nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.aacn.nche.edu/ccne-accreditation).

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Registered Nurses, on the Internet www.bls.gov/ooh/Healthcare/Registered-nurses.htm. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Although certain programs at Kaplan University are designed to prepare students to take various certification or licensing exams, the University cannot guarantee the student will pass those exams. In some cases, field experience, additional coursework, and/or background checks may be necessary to take or to successfully pass the exams. Students should research the requirements in the state in which they intend to seek employment.

§Kaplan University cannot guarantee employment or career advancement.

#While many of Kaplan University's degree programs are designed to prepare graduates to pursue continued bachelor-, graduate- or doctorate-level education, the University cannot guarantee that students will be granted admission to any programs.

**Please note that most states require nurses to be nationally certified in order to obtain licensure as a nurse practitioner. Students are responsible for determining whether they will be eligible for state Board of Nursing approval and certification as a nurse practitioner or advanced practice nurse in their state. Students can obtain additional information from their state's Board of Nursing, the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).