Master of Science in Nursing

All graduate degrees

Graduates with an MSN degree from Southern are highly respected and sought after in the workplace. Our graduate nursing students have a significant job-placement record in their chosen fields and an excellent certification-exam pass rate. And with the employment for MSN nurses projected to grow 30 percent over the next 10 years—much faster than other occupations—you'll be positioned for success.

How the program works

Classes meet on Tuesdays to accommodate students who are combining work, home, and school. Full-time and part-time enrollment options can be customized to fit your life.

Any student wishing to complete clinical experiences outside the State of TN must verify that State is a member of NC-SARA and seek permission from that State Board of Nursing. Clinical placements in some States may not be able to be accommodated due to specific State Board of Nursing regulations.

Online option for the Nurse Educator emphasis
The MSN is also offered completely online for the Nurse Educator emphasis.

Eligibility and prerequisites

  • Bachelor's degree:  A bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program
  • GPA requirement:  A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • Course in statistics:  An undergraduate or graduate course in statistics (3 credit hours)
  • Licensure:  Current RN licensure in the state or country of practice
  • Work experience:  A minimum of two years (4,000 hours) of current nursing experience
  • Acute-care emphases: Applicants should have substantive experience in critical care or a related area and submit documentation of critical-care skill set with application.

Application deadlines

All application steps are to be fully completed by the dates listed.

Term U.S. Residents International
Fall April 1 March 1
Winter October 1 August 1

Admission process

  1. Graduate application:  Submit a graduate application (with non-refundable fee of $40). Apply now
  2. Transcripts:  Submit official college and university transcripts. Many institutions subscribe to the convenient transcript-request service at National Student Clearinghouse, or you may also contact your institution directly. Have your transcripts sent to Melodie Lopez in the Graduate Studies office (malopez@southern.edu). If you earned your prerequisite degree at Southern, you do not need to complete this step.
  3. Recommendations:  Submit three recommendation forms (completed by work supervisors or professors). This should be done as part of the online application process, or Download PDF.
  4. Written statement:  Submit a statement describing your purpose and goals for pursuing this degree. Your statement should be thoughtfully written to demonstrate your writing skills. It should be submitted through your Application Status Page.
  5. Resumé:  Submit your current resumé through your Application Status Page.
  6. Interview:  Schedule a faculty interview after completing your Graduate application from your Application Status Page.

Once you are accepted

Before enrolling, we will need acceptable documentation of these items. Email documents to jlthompson@southern.edu.

International students

Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States are considered international students and must meet additional requirements for admission.

  • View international-student admission requirements »

    1. Applicants from non-English institutions must submit certified English translations and evaluations of official university records, including demonstration of the equivalency of a bachelor's degree.
      Transcript evaluations must be submitted directly to Southern from one of the following agencies:
    2. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries must demonstrate English proficiency.
      Unless an applicant is a native English speaker or received the college/university degree from an English-medium institution, s/he must have a minimum TOEFL score of 100. TOEFL scores are valid for two years from the test date. Learn more at ets.org/toefl »

    3. Submit Declaration of Finances.
      International students must have financial resources sufficient to support themselves for the calendar year, in addition to an international-student deposit of $3,000 (USD). Download Form
      • To be issued an I-20 Form, students must also provide a letter from financial sponsors (including their name and address), as well as copies of bank statements for the last three months showing the balance history for the student's account or the financial sponsor's account.

International students who will be coming to Southern's campus need some additional information about travel documents and living on campus.

More Information

Graduate assistantships

For more information about becoming a graduate assistant, please contact the graduate enrollment counselor.

Course guide

Select an emphasis:

Acute Care—Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner

The Acute Care—Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner emphasis prepares graduates for nurse-practitioner certification and for obtaining advanced-practice licensure. The ACNP-A/G works in inpatient and outpatient adult settings, caring for patients with complex health problems. Common roles include hospitalist, intensivist, and acute-care specialty practice.

The Nurse Educator emphasis prepares graduates for nursing-education roles. Common employment settings include college/university nursing programs, hospital education departments, or other community health-education areas.

This emphasis is also offered exclusively online.

The Primary Care—Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner emphasis prepares graduates for nurse-practitioner certification and for obtaining advanced-practice licensure. The AGNP cares for adult and elderly patients in primary care and long-term care settings.

The Family Nurse Practitioner emphasis prepares graduates for nurse-practitioner certification and for obtaining advanced-practice licensure. The FNP provides primary care services for individuals, families, and communities. Common practice settings include family practice, urgent/emergency care, and outpatient specialty offices.

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner emphasis prepares graduates for nurse-practitioner certification and for obtaining advanced-practice licensure. The PMHNP provides mental health care, counseling, and psychotherapy services to individuals, groups, and families. Practice settings include inpatient and outpatient/office/clinic centers.

MSN CORE Courses Credits
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion Across the Lifespan 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics, and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
  NURS 684 Preparation for MSN Capstone 0
  NURS 694 MSN Capstone 2
MSN Core Subtotal 28
Acute Care—Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner emphasis courses Credits
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  NURS 640 Primary Care of Adults I 3
  NURS 645 Practicum I: Primary Care of Adults 4
  NURS 650 Primary Care of Adults II 3
  NURS 657 Acute Care Concepts and Skills I 3
  NURS 659 Acute Care Concepts and Skills II 3
  NURS 671 Practicum I:Acute Care of Adults 3
  NURS 673 Practicum II: Acute Care of Adults 3
  NURS 685 Role Development for Advanced Practice 1
  NURS 687 Nursing Graduate Program Finalization 0
Acute Care—Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Emphasis Subtotal 23
  Total 51
MSN CORE Courses Credits
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion Across the Lifespan 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics, and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
  NURS 684 Preparation for MSN Capstone 0
  NURS 694 MSN Capstone 2
MSN Core Subtotal 28
NURSE EDUCATOR emphasis courses Credits
  EDUC 531 Technology and the Educator 3
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  NURS 621 Nursing Curriculum Design 3
  NURS 631 Classroom Instruction and Evaluation 3
  NURS 641 Practicum: Area of Clinical Emphasis 2
  NURS 643 Educator Role Practicum: Area of Clinical Emphasis 3
  NURS 648 Clinical and Simulation Instruction in Nursing 3
  NURS 687 Nursing Graduate Program Finalization 0
Nurse Educator Emphasis Subtotal 17
  Total 45
MSN CORE Courses Credits
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion Across the Lifespan 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics, and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
  NURS 684 Preparation for MSN Capstone 0
  NURS 694 MSN Capstone 2
MSN Core Subtotal 28
Primary Care—Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner emphasis courses Credits
  NURS 556 Family and Community Systems 2
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  NURS 640 Primary Care of Adults I 3
  NURS 645 Practicum I: Primary Care of Adults 4
  NURS 650 Primary Care of Adults II 3
  NURS 655 Practicum II: Primary Care of Adults 4
  NURS 661 Geriatric Primary and Long-term Care 3
  NURS 664 Practicum: Geriatric Primary and Long-term Care 2
  NURS 685 Role Development for Advanced Practice 1
  NURS 687 Nursing Graduate Program Finalization 0
Primary Care—Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Emphasis Subtotal 22
  Total 50
MSN CORE Courses Credits
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion Across the Lifespan 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics, and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
  NURS 684 Preparation for MSN Capstone 0
  NURS 694 MSN Capstone 2
MSN Core Subtotal 28
Primary Care—Family Nurse Practitioner emphasis courses Credits
  NURS 556 Family and Community Systems 2
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  NURS 640 Primary Care of Adults I 3
  NURS 650 Primary Care of Adults II 3
  NURS 662 Primary Care of Children 3
  NURS 665 Practicum I: Primary Care of Families 5
  NURS 670 Practicum II: Primary Care of Families 5
  NURS 685 Role Development for Advanced Practice 1
  NURS 687 Nursing Graduate Program Finalization 0
Primary Care—Family Nurse Practitioner Emphasis Subtotal 22
  Total 50
MSN CORE Courses Credits
  NURS 502 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Studies 0
  NURS 512 Healthcare Technology in Advanced Practice 2
  NURS 520 Health Promotion Across the Lifespan 2
  NURS 527 Theory and Research for Advanced Practice 4
  NURS 535 Christian Leadership and Management 2
  NURS 540 Healthcare Policy, Economics, and Finance 3
  RELT 540 Christianity and Ethics in Professional Practice 3
  NURS 550 Advanced Pathophysiology 3
  NURS 552 Advanced Pharmacology 3
  NURS 555 Advanced Health Assessment 4
  NURS 684 Preparation for MSN Capstone 0
  NURS 694 MSN Capstone 2
MSN Core Subtotal 28
Primary Care—PSYCHIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH Nurse Practitioner emphasis courses Credits
  NURS 590 Orientation to Nursing Graduate Clinical Practicum 0
  NURS 612 Neuroscience for Mental Health Practitioners 3
  NURS 615 Psychopharmacology 2
  NURS 624 Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Seminar 1
  NURS 651 Practicum I: Psychiatric Mental Health Care 3
  NURS 653 Practicum II: Psychiatric Mental Health Care 4
  NURS 685 Role Development for Advanced Practice 1
  NURS 687 Nursing Graduate Program Finalization 0
  COUN 521 Psychopathology 3
  COUN 556 Theories and Techniques of Counseling 3
  COUN 561 Multicultural Issues in Counseling 3
  COUN 582 Clinical Practicum I 1
  COUN 583 Clinical Practicum II: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (1 hour required) 1-2
  COUN 593 Child and Adolescent Problems and Treatment 3
Primary Care—Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Emphasis Subtotal 28
  Total 56

Faculty

Ronda Christman
Ronda Christman

Associate Professor
rchristman@southern.edu
423.236.2153

Holly Gadd
Holly Gadd

Professor
hgadd@southern.edu
423.236.2961

Frances Johnson
Frances Johnson

Professor
francesj@southern.edu
423.236.2973

Michael Liedke
Michael Liedke

Assistant Professor
maliedke@southern.edu
423.236.2958

Lilly Tryon
Lilly Tryon

Associate Professor
ltryon@southern.edu
423.236.2154

Maria Valenca
Maria Valenca

Professor
valencam@southern.edu
423.236.2952

Get started

I am here to help if you have any questions about applying to the programs or enrolling. I'm the one who keeps track of all the forms and certifications you are required to have, so if you get stuck let me know. You are welcome to email or call for information about everything from admission to graduation. I look forward to working with you and meeting you!

Jamie Thompson

Graduate Enrollment Counselor 
jlthompson@southern.edu
423.236.2957