RN to Master of Science in Nursing

All graduate degrees

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The Accelerated RN to MSN program is designed for registered nurses who have some years of experience and can manage an expedited approach to a graduate degree.

How the program works

Southern's guide to advanced nursing degrees cover

Graduate nursing 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.

Graduates earn the MSN without receiving a bachelor's degree, though the program includes general-education courses and some nursing courses required for the BSN (view Course guide below).  

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.

To get an inside look at Southern’s nursing programs, download The Complete Guide to Advanced Nursing Degrees at Southern Adventist University.

Undergraduate requirements

A specific set of general-education and cognate courses are required of RN-to-MSN students. These classes are typically to be completed before registering for graduate-level courses. Your adviser can discuss the parameters for transferring credits from another institution.

  • View requirements


    Communication: Public speaking
    Computer: Literacy/skills
    English Composition I and II
    General: History/government/economics, philosophy,
         humanities, fine arts, language or literature
    History: Elective
    Religion: Elective

    3 hours
    3 hours
    3 hours
    6 hours
    3 hours

    3 hours
    3 hours

    Must be taken at Southern:
    RELT 373 Christian Ethics
    SOCI 349 Aging and Society
    PEAC 225 Fitness for Life


    3 hours
    3 hours
    1 hour

Eligibility and prerequisites

  • Degree or diploma:  Associate’s degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited program
  • GPA requirement:  A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.25
  • 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 need to have substantive experience in critical care or a related area and submit documentation of their 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 the Graduate Studies office (gradtranscripts@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.
  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. Upload them through your Application Status Page.

  • Personal Health Assessment and Physical Exam Download form
  • Criminal background check Download Form
  • Medical-information disclosure consent Download Form
  • Drug-Screen
  • Current health information and immunizations Download Form
  • CPR/BLS certification from the American Heart Association
  • Current Nursing License

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. All non-U.S. transcripts must be submitted through one of the following approved credential evaluation agencies: Evaluations are to be sent directly to Southern, Graduate Studies, by the service. All evaluation reports are considered to be advisory. Southern reserves the right to make final equivalency decisions.
    2. Certification of English proficiency.
      See School specific requirements in the Graduate Catalog. Scores are valid for two years from the test date. Learn more at:
    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

Explore Career Paths, Compare Degrees, and Hear from Alumni

Check out our blog posts for some awesome content on the world of nursing, which career paths you can take with different degrees that Southern offers, and what our Alumni found most valuable about their experiences.

Nursing Student Spotlight

Don't just take our word for it—hear directly from our nursing students and alumni about their experiences with Southern and how it helped their nursing careers.

- Diana Taylor, BSN to DNP, Acute Care

- Julie McBride, BSN to DNP, Psychiactric Mental Health

- Julie McKinney, BSN to DNP, Lifestyle Medicine and Family Practice

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. 
Graduate classes for the Nurse Educator emphasis may be taken completely online.

The Primary Care—Adult/Gerontology 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 Primary Care—Family 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 Primary Care—Psychiatric Mental Health 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.


Ronda Christman
Ronda Christman


Frances Johnson
Frances Johnson

AVP of Acad Admin/Dean of Graduate & Professional Studies

Lilly Tryon
Lilly Tryon

Professor Pt

Maria Valenca
Maria Valenca


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.

Jamie Thompson

Graduate Enrollment Counselor