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Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The Master of Science degree in Nursing (MSN) prepares professional nurses for post-graduate roles in a variety of advanced practice and specialty areas. Graduates have increased autonomy and independence in their practice and are eligible to apply for national certification. The Master of Science in Nursing provides the graduate the opportunity to:

  1. Synthesize theory and concepts from nursing and other disciplines for applications in the care of clients;
  2. Provide advanced nursing care based upon in-depth client assessment in an area of specialization;
  3. Evaluate ethical, moral, and legal precepts in client care;
  4. Design culturally competent interventions based on current, valid evidence;
  5. Apply research methods to investigate problems that influence advanced nursing care;
  6. Analyze public policy and issues that affect advanced nursing practice and health care delivery systems;
  7. Collaborate with other disciplines to provide care in a variety of settings;
  8. Integrate peer review and/or peer guidance in advanced practice;
  9. Participate in leadership and development of the profession; and
  10. Enhance the basis for life-long learning and/or doctoral study.

MSN Applicants have the choice of three majors: a) Nursing Education; b) Nurse Practitioner with concentrations in Adult/Gerontology with an Acute Care focus, Family, and Pediatrics; and c) Nursing Systems Management. Total required semester hours vary from 33 to 49.

Interested nurses apply online through the Graduate School Web site and send official transcripts directly to the Graduate School. After individual evaluation, the Dean of the Graduate School upon recommendation of the Graduate Studies Committee makes the final decision regarding admission.

Requirements for Admission

  1. Valid, unencumbered Registered Nurse (RN) license from the state of current practice.
  2. Completed application for the Graduate School at UTEP.
  3. A Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree from an accredited college or university in the United States or equivalent education at a foreign institution.
  4. A satisfactory score on TOEFL as defined by the Graduate School for International applicants whose first language is not English or who have not completed a university degree in the U.S.
  5. Admission Levels
    1. Full Admission: Undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or greater
    2. Conditional Admission: Undergraduate GPA of 2.00-2.99.  Must achieve B or better on first 3 core courses.

Online Learning Requirements

Because the MSN degree is online, many learning resources are online.  To be successful, students must have access to technology and online access that will successfully support the academic experience.

Compliance Requirements for MSN Program

Compliance must remain current throughout the semester in which the student enrolls or the student risks being dropped from courses. Once admitted, students provide compliance documentation directly to the Compliance Officer. See compliance website for more information.

Travel Requirements

Graduate orientation, usually held just prior to the start of fall or the spring semester, is mandatory for all students.

Student Employment

Student employment is a personal decision; however, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange work obligations to support the required education commitments for classes and clinical experiences. We strongly encourage NP students in the last three semesters of study to immerse themselves into the role and to limit outside employment. The final capstone experience for the NSM major requires large blocks of time that will require employment arrangements to meet the course requirements. Classes are offered in a variety of time periods throughout the year to assist the students in minimizing conflicts.

Degree Requirements for the Master of Science in Nursing

The School of Nursing attempts to accommodate flexibility in course offerings with respect to weekend, evening, and summer classes and online delivery.  Courses with enrollment of less than seven individuals are subject to cancellation.
Graduate students must maintain a GPA of 3.0 (“B average”) in order to remain in good academic standing.  Additionally, any graduate nursing student achieving a grade lower than B in any of the Graduate Core or Advanced Practice Core courses must repeat the course and earn a grade of B or better.  Students earning two grades of C in any graduate nursing course will be dismissed from the Graduate Nursing Program.  Students earning a grade of D or F in any graduate nursing course will be dismissed from the Graduate Nursing Program. 
All degree requirements for the M.S.N. must be completed within six years.

Non-Thesis Options

As partial fulfillment of meeting requirements for the M.S.N. degree, students must complete an electronic portfolio demonstrating:

  • Achievement of program outcomes
  • Competency in specific knowledge and skills related to specific major/concentration

Degree Plan

Required Credits: 33

Advanced Practice Core Courses (All courses require a grade of B or better)
Required Courses:
NURS 5303Advanced Health Assessment3
NURS 5319Advanced Pathophysiology3
NURS 5362Pharmacotherapeutics3
Nursing Systems Management (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
NURS 5300Organ. Theory & Culture3
NURS 5335Management Roles & Operations3
NURS 5337Health Care Financial Mgmt.3
NURS 5339Nursing Management Residency3
NURS 5365Managing Health Care Outcomes3
NURS 5366Managing Diverse Work Teams3
Select six additional hours of Interdisciplinary Electives6
Non-Thesis Option:
Complete oral comprehensive exam
Total Hours33