Aug 15, 2022  
2020-2021 Graduate Bulletin 
2020-2021 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing (MSN)

Bulletin/Catalog Year 2020-2021
College of Behavioral and Health Sciences
School of Nursing

Dr. Eve Rice
Interim Director, School of Nursing
Location: McCord Building, Room 218
Phone:  931-221-7438

Dr. Michelle Robertson, DNP, APN, FNP-BC
Graduate Nursing Coordinator, Professor of Nursing
Location: McCord Building, Room 328
Phone:  931-221-7489

Program Overview

The Graduate Nursing program at APSU prepares graduates to make significant contributions to the overall improvement of health and to meet essential professional practice standards in a variety of settings. The purpose of the Graduate Nursing program is to build upon the generalist preparation of the BSN program with a curriculum of evidence-based practice, theory, and research, leading to specialization as Family Nurse Practitioners (FNP) or Nurse Educators (NE).

The Graduate Nursing program consists of two concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), and Nurse Educator (NE). Both concentrations are designed to meet the needs of Registered Nurses in various stages of their careers. All courses are in an online format. Students in both concentrations have the option to enroll in full-time or extended plans of study. With either option, students are expected to matriculate as a cohort. A student’s course sequence and Program of Study are determined by the bulletin year in which they enter the program.

The APSU Graduate Nursing program offers students access to a collaborative academic community with low student-to-faculty ratios, direct and frequent access to faculty, personal advising, and an interactive approach to learning. Graduate Nursing students attend required on-campus intensives to practice hands-on skills, participate in simulation, and interact with peers, faculty, and experts in the field. At the end of the program, students in both concentrations develop an evidence-based project that requires integration of the knowledge gained from their concentrations.


The Austin Peay State University School of Nursing is designed to prepare the nurse generalist and nurses in advanced roles to meet regional healthcare needs while cultivating an appreciation of diversity and an understanding of the national and global healthcare environments. 

The Director, staff, and faculty of the School of Nursing demonstrate respect for all persons, serving as role models and mentors to students as they evolve in professional development specific to their level of education and practice roles. A supportive, positive, and collaborative environment is a hallmark of the school.  

The School of Nursing is committed to empowering students to become critical thinkers, healthcare leaders, excellent communicators, and life-long learners.  The school serves traditional and non-traditional students, including the military community. 


The APSU School of Nursing’s vision is to develop leaders in nursing and healthcare who have the critical inquiry, skills, and values for life and practice in a global society.

Graduate Nursing Concentrations

The Graduate Nursing Program offers concentrations: Nursing Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner.  Post-master’s certificates are available in the Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner tracks as well.

Learning Outcomes

End of Program Student Learning Outcomes (EPSLOs)

End of Program Student Learning Outcomes (EPSLOs) are measurable statements that express what a student will know, do, or think at the end of the learning experience. The following EPSLOs are consistent with standards of professional practice and align with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing.

FNP Concentration (MSN & Post-Master’s Programs) Student Learning Outcomes (FNP-EPSLOs)

Graduates of the FNP Concentration (MSN and Post-Master’s Programs) will be able to:

  1. Use evidence and practice guidelines to create a safe, quality, and effective care environment. (Essentials III, IX; NONPF Competencies 3, 8, 9; QSEN 1, 5)
  2. Apply effective clinical reasoning in the management of Patient-Centered Care. (Essentials VIII, IX; NONPF Competencies 1, 4, 7, 9; QSEN 3)
  3. Practice ethical decision making in patient management. (Essentials VI, IX; NONPF Competencies 8, 9; QSEN 1)
  4. Apply patient advocacy and effective communication in diverse clinical settings. (Essentials VII, IX; NONPF Competencies 2, 3, 8, 9; QSEN 1, 2)
  5. Demonstrate evidence-based decision making in the clinical setting. (Essentials III, VII, IX; NONPF Competencies 1,4, 5, 9; QSEN 3)
  6. Formulate the ability to use scientific inquiry as a basis for clinical decision-making and quality improvement in clinical practice. (Essentials I, III, IV, IX; NONPF Competencies 1, 4, 5, 9; QSEN 4)
  7. Assess community and population health in the clinical setting. (Essentials VIII, VI; NONPF Competencies 6, 7, 9; QSEN 1)
  8. Demonstrate advanced role development, professional behaviors, and leadership competency, including effective communication and collaboration in the care of diverse patients across the lifespan. (Essentials II, V, VII, IX; NONPF Competencies 2, 3, 4, 9; QSEN 2)
  9. Integrate appropriate technologies for knowledge management to improve health care. (Essentials IV, IX; NONPF Competencies 5, 9; QSEN 6)
NE Concentration (MSN & Post-Master’s Programs) Student Learning Outcomes (NE-EPSLOs)

Graduates of the NE Concentration (MSN and Post-Master’s Programs) will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competence in developing, implementing, revising, and evaluating nursing curricula among individuals and groups using relevant theories of nursing, teaching and learning, evaluation, and technological innovation. (Essentials I, V, IX; NLN Nurse Educator Competencies 1, 2; QSEN 1, 6)
  2. Apply educational theory and research to the development and evaluation of nursing and healthcare curricula. (Essentials III, IX; NLN Nurse Educator Competencies 3, 4; QSEN 3, 4)
  3. Analyze the impact of societal and technological changes on nursing education. (Essentials I, II, VI, IX; NLN Nurse Educator Competencies 2, 5, 6; QSEN 6)
  4. Analyze evidence-based research to guide decisions in selecting educational interventions to improve nursing practice, patient outcomes, safety, and population health. (Essentials III, IV, VII, IX; NLN Nurse Educator Competencies 1, 3, 7; QSEN 1, 4, 5)
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the tripartite role in educational environments of higher learning. (Essentials III, VIII, IX; NLN Nurse Educator Competency 8; QSEN 2)
  6. Demonstrate advanced role development, ethical and professional behaviors, and leadership competency, including effective communication, collaboration, and advocacy in the care of diverse patients across the life/span (Essentials II, V, VII, IX; NLN Nurse Educator Competencies 5, 6; QSEN 2, 3, 4)
  7. Demonstrate graduate level clinical knowledge and expertise to execute safe and effective patient-focused assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation in a specialized clinical area of nursing. (Essentials III, VIII; NLN Nurse Educator Competency 3; QSEN 2, 4, 5)
Program Specific Admissions Requirements

All applicants for the Graduate Nursing Program must complete and show evidence of the following:

  1. $45 application fee. (Non-refundable)
  2. Official transcripts from all colleges attended (graduate and undergraduate) verifying that a bachelor’s degree in nursing has been earned with an overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Applicant Resume.
  4. Applicant Goal Statement (e.g., reasons for pursuing graduate studies). The personal goal statement should be a one-page essay. It must be written in your own words. It should contain the following:
  • Details on your decision to obtain a Master’s degree in nursing
  • Description of your particular interest in and potential for contributing to the nursing profession, specifically as a Master’s prepared nurse
  • Career objectives
  • Plan to be successful in the MSN program, specifically addressing your goal of full or part-time study and the many hours required studying and in clinical.
  1. Licensure Verification (proof of an unencumbered, current license to practice as a Registered Nurse in Tennessee or the state in which the clinical assignments are completed).
  2. Military documents if applicable.
  3. Successful completion of a 3 semester hour or 4 quarter hour undergraduate level Statistics course is required.
  4. Reply from Nursing Admission committee. Admission decision will be rendered from APSU’s School of Nursing Graduate Curriculum, Admission, and Retention committee.
Post-Masters Certificates

Students who have received a MSN are eligible to apply for a Post-Master’s Certificate. Post-Masters Certificates are available in Family Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Educator concentrations. A post-master’s applicant must have a minimum overall GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in the Master’s degree. The Bachelor’s degree GPA will also be considered (3.0 on a 4.0 scale or above). The post-master’s applicants must provide all admission requirements listed under “Program Specific Admissions Requirements.”  Post Master’s applicants will be required to provide proof of completion of Advanced Pathophysiology (3 credit hours), Advanced Pharmacology (3 credit hours), and Advanced Physical Assessment (3/1 credit hours). If the student has not successfully completed any or all of the pre-requisite required courses, or the courses taken are not comparable to those required by the graduate nursing FNP program at APSU, the student will be required to complete those before beginning the post-masters curriculum.

Admission Application Requirements

The Graduate Nursing program admits twice each calendar year.

Summer Admission:  Application due May 1 (Courses begin in Summer II term)
Spring I Admission:  Application due October 1 (Courses begin in the Winter term - Spring I Ft. Campbell)

Non-Degree Status

There are no graduate nursing courses open to students not admitted to the Graduate Nursing Program.

Clinical Requirements

Prior to beginning and throughout clinical/practicum rotations, students must:

  • Maintain proof of an unencumbered, current license to practice as a Registered Nurse in Tennessee or the state in which the clinical assignments are completed.  A student that does not reside in the state of TN must be evaluated prior to admission to determine if the student is eligible for admission. If admitted, it is the out-of-state student’s responsibility to continually monitor the State Board of Nursing’s requirements to complete clinical experiences in the state.
  • If a current student is relocating out of state, or moving to a new state, they must contact the Graduate Nursing Coordinator for approval to attend clinical. Due to individual state Board of Nursing regulations, clinical rotations cannot be completed in all states.
  • Hold personal professional liability insurance (1/6 million) and health insurance.
  • Must present proof of immunity to MMR, Varicella, and Hepatitis B.
  • Must provide documentation of current Tetanus and Flu immunization.
  • Must provide documentation of current TB test to include initial 2 step tuberculin skin test.
  • Undergo a criminal background check within 90 days of first clinical rotation start date.
  • Complete annual HIPAA and OSHA safety training.
  • Provide documentation of health history and physical examination.
  • Provide evidence of current health care provider PR certification.
  • Must follow the procedures to complete affiliation agreements.
  • If a preceptor site has additional requirements, the student must meet those additional requirements in order to attend. This may include, but is not limited to drug testing.

Graduate Nursing Specific Policies

The Graduate Nursing program has certain policies that are more strict than those that exist for other graduate programs. These include:

1.  Length of Program: Graduate Nursing students must complete all degree requirements within four years of entering graduate coursework. At any time, should a student not be enrolled for two consecutive semesters (including summer semesters), the student will have to seek readmission to the Graduate Nursing program.

2.  Withdrawals:  MSN degree students cannot have more than three course withdrawals while enrolled in the MSN Program. After the third withdrawal, the student will be placed on academic probation. Should a fourth withdrawal occur, the student will be dismissed from the MSN program.

Post-Master’s Certificate students cannot have more than one course withdrawal while enrolled in the Graduate Nursing Program. After the first withdrawal, the student will be placed on academic probation. Should a second withdrawal occur, the student will be dismissed from the Graduate Nursing program.

3.  Incomplete Grades:  Incomplete “I” grades will only be awarded under rare and extraordinary circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable and are beyond the student’s control. All “I” grades must be approved by the Graduate Nursing Coordinator.

All requirements to satisfy the “I” grade must be completed within 60 days from the end of the semester in which it was received. Otherwise, the “I” will convert to an “F.”

4. Progression Policy:  Graduate nursing students complete all required courses with a grade of B or better. If a student’s grade is lower than B, s/he may repeat the course. However, no more than one required course can be repeated. In repeating a course, the previous grade, as well as the grade earned from the repeated course, will be included in the calculation of the GPA. Students will be dismissed from the Graduate Nursing program if they do not meet the requirements in this policy.

5. Competency Test Requirement for graduation:  Every candidate for the Graduate Nursing program is required to pass a final comprehensive examination.