Mar 28, 2023  
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin 
2022-2023 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing (MSN)


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

Dr. Michelle Robertson, DNP, APRN, 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), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners (PMHNP), or Nurse Educators (NE).

The Graduate Nursing Program consists of three concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), and Nurse Educator (NE). All concentrations are designed to meet the needs of Registered Nurses in various stages of their careers. 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 all 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 three concentrations: Nursing Educator, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner,  and Family Nurse Practitioner. 

Learning Outcomes

End-of-Program Student Learning Outcomes/Role-Specific Professional Competencies


End of Program Student Learning Outcomes (EPSLOs) are measurable statements that express the knowledge, skills, and behaviors that the student should be able to demonstrate upon completion of the program. Role-specific Professional Competencies (RCs) are expected, measurable levels of graduate performance that integrate knowledge, skills, and behaviors. The RCs are incorporated into the EPSLOs for all MSN students. Additional RCs are listed for each concentration.


EPSLO/RC-MSN—Graduates of the MSN program will be able to:

  1.  Demonstrate advanced-role professional behaviors and leadership competencies, including effective communication and collaboration in the care of diverse patients.
  2.  Utilize technology to manage information, drive improvement, and mitigate error in advanced nursing care.
  3.  Analyze evidence-based research to guide decisions and quality improvement in the advanced nursing role.
  4.  Utilize evidence-based practice guidelines to provide safe, compassionate, and quality care.
  5.  Demonstrate ethical decision-making in guiding patient management in the advanced nursing role.
  6.  Analyze data to modify the determinants of health, promoting improved outcomes for individuals and populations.
  7.  Apply advanced clinical reasoning in the management of patient-centered care.
  8.  Integrate advocacy strategies to influence policy at the system level.

RC-Nurse Educator (NE)—Graduates of the NE Concentration will also be able to:

  1. Demonstrate competence in developing, implementing, revising, assessing, and evaluating curricula and programs using relevant theories, teaching and learning strategies, and technological innovation.
  2. Evaluate the tripartite role in educational environments of higher learning.

RC-Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)—Graduates of the FNP Concentration will also be able to:

  1. Demonstrate independence and accountability in managing primary healthcare needs, including identifying differential diagnoses, prioritizing, and managing health and illness needs for individuals and families across the lifespan.

RC-Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)—Graduates of the PMHNP Concentration will also be able to:

  1. Demonstrate independence and accountability in managing psychiatric and mental health care needs, including identifying differential diagnoses, prioritizing, and managing acute and chronic disorders for individuals across the lifespan.
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.
  5. 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).
  6. Military documents if applicable.
  7. Successful completion of a 3 semester hour or 4 quarter hour undergraduate level Statistics course is required.
  8. Reply from Graduate Nursing Admission committee. Admission decision will be rendered from APSU’s School of Nursing Graduate Curriculum, Admission, and Retention committee.

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)


Some University Programs have additional requirements and information included in the Program Handbook.  Program Handbooks, which are incorporated into herein by reference, are available by selecting the following link:  Master of Science in Nursing.

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 prior to participating in clinical rotations.
  • Provide evidence of current health care provider CPR certification.
  • Must follow the procedures to complete affiliation agreements.
  • If a clinical 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 and COVID-19 vaccination.

Graduate Nursing Specific Policies

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

1.  Length of Program: MSN students must complete all degree requirements within 12 full academic semesters. At any time, should a graduate nursing student not be enrolled for two consecutive semesters (including summer semesters), the student must 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.

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 a B, the course may be repeated. However, no more than one required course can be repeated during the program. 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 graduate nursing student is required to pass a final comprehensive examination before graduation. The examination measures role competency and emphasizes the student’s area of concentration. The examination is conducted during the semester the student expects to graduate. The candidate must be registered in the semester the comprehensive exam is taken.  Students who are not successful in passing the comprehensive examination during the expected graduating semester are required to enroll in NURS 5992 the next semester and are required to complete a remediation plan before retaking the examination. At the conclusion of NURS 5992, if the student has not passed the comprehensive examination, no graduate nursing degree will be awarded.