University of Texas at El Paso Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog

M.S.N.-Nurse Practitioner

The nurse practitioner major offers a choice of five individual concentrations. Available concentrations include: a) adult gerontology with an acute care focus (AGACNP), b) family with primary care focus (FNP), and c) pediatrics with an acute care focus (PNP-AC) d) pediatrics with a primary care focus (PNP-PC), and e) psychiatric mental health.

The total semester credit hours for the specific NP concentration ranges from 46 to 49 credits. Clinical practicum times vary from 675-775 clock hours based on the concentration and the student’s acquisition of competencies essential to practice. All nurse practitioner majors must complete the three core and four advanced practice core courses prior to starting clinical courses.

Due to the competitiveness of the major and limited clinical slots, students who deviate from their established degree plan for any reason will be dropped from the specific NP concentration cohort and must reapply to the specific NP concentration.

Master of Science in Nursing

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. 

UTEP’s MSN program outcomes incorporate nationally recognized educational and professional standards and competencies. Upon program completion graduates will be able to:

  1. Apply theoretical perspectives, scientific evidence, and visionary thinking to critically analyze and lead complex organizational systems and implement innovative change.
  2. Use interpersonal, inter-professional and organizational communication and relationship-building skills to create and lead highly functioning, reliable and healthy teams. 
  3. Combine business skills and principles, evidence-based practice, informatics, and quality and safety strategies and metrics to lead care systems for improvement of processes and outcomes.
  4. Employ state, federal and global health policy(ies) to advocate for healthcare reform and improve health outcomes for all. 
  5. Model professionalism, integrity, ethical decision making and respect for differing points of view and with diverse populations.   
  6. Utilize research for the improvement of nursing practice and the advancement of nursing as an academic discipline.
  7. Ascertain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to continuously improve the quality and safety of the health care systems in which they practice through lifelong learning.

MSN Applicants have the choice of three majors: a) Nursing Education; b) Nurse Practitioner with concentrations in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Family, and Pediatrics Primary Care or Acute Care; and c) Nursing Administration and 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.

Admission Requirements 

  1. Current Registered Nurse license in good standing in state or country where clinical or practicum coursework is completed
  2. Completed application for graduate school at UTEP and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited college or university in the United States or equivalent education at a foreign institution
  3. Applicants from countries where English is not the first language are required to demonstrate English proficiency. Please consult the graduate school website for required scores. 
  4. Demonstration of academic achievement and potential as indicated by
    1. Undergraduate or graduate coursework
    2. Letter of intent (LOI) that includes
      1. Name and 800# if known
      2. Statement of Nursing Professional Purpose: include your past professional Registered Nurse experiences and abilities that align with your future Advanced Practice Nursing goals. Also, highlight future professional goals as they relate to your selected Nurse Practitioner concentration, following format:

        1. Word document with 500 words or less, 1-inch margins, 1.5 or double-spaced, and 11 point Arial font.
        2. Strong flow and organization
        3. Proper sentence structure, syntax, punctuation, capitalization, etc.
    3. Current resume identifying appropriate objective related to graduate education

The length of program depends on major and varies from 33 to 49 semester credit hours (SCH). Students should contact the director of the selected major or concentration or email  ( Applications are considered on an individual basis and are reviewed by the Graduate Studies Committee of the College of Nursing.

Online Learning Requirements

To be successful, students must purchase or have access to a computer with reliable internet access, most current Microsoft Office and other software essential for online learning.

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

The new MSN student face-to-face orientation occurs on the UTEP campus prior to the start of each semester (fall, spring and summer). Attendance is strongly encouraged for all graduate nursing students.

Nurse practitioner students are required to travel to UTEP's campus up to a maximum of three times during the semesters in which they are enrolled in clinical courses. The number of on campus times varies according to the NP concentration. This time is used for self and faculty evaluation of clinical competencies.

Due to the limited number of appropriate clinical placements, nurse practitioner students may be required to travel 200 miles or more to fulfill clinical requirements.

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. 

Degree Requirements 

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.