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MS Nursing

Offered at the San Marcos Campus

Overview

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at CSUSM is a part-time program designed for working registered nurses who hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing. The program concentration is Advanced Practice in Nursing, with two options for specialization including Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. You may also complete a post-MSN certificate to help advance your career even further and stand out among your peers.

View Catalog Page

Information Sessions

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New cohorts begin every fall semester.

Application and document deadline:

  • Fall 2020: Feb. 19, 2020

View application instructions.

Fall 2020 Application

  • Cohort program

    Benefit from immediate peer support, individualized attention, guaranteed placement in courses, guaranteed time to completion, small classes and more

  • Increase your earning potential

    Open yourself up to more job opportunities and higher salaries with an MSN degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2018 median annual salary for advanced practice nurses in the U.S. was $113,930 per year.

  • Become an advanced practice or specialized nurse

    With an MSN degree, you are equipped to assume a leadership role within the healthcare field and you can specialize in a number of fields, including psychiatric-mental health, oncology, pediatrics or nurse education

  • Distinguish yourself from your peers

    While an MSN degree is not currently a requirement for working as a nurse, the field is becoming increasingly competitive. As you are competing for jobs or promotions, leaders are more likely to consider a nurse with an advanced degree over an RN or BSN.

Program Details

  • ADMISSION

    How to Apply

    In addition to the requirements and prerequisites listed below, you should have computing skills sufficient to complete graduate work including word processing and statistical software programs. Admission decisions will be influenced by the strength of the undergraduate program, academic achievement, community service, and the educational goals of individual applicants.

    Admission Requirements

    • BSN degree from a CCNE- or NLN-accredited program
    • Minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 units of undergraduate coursework
    • Proof of licensure as a California registered nurse
    • A current résumé with one year of recent nursing experience
    • Two letters of reference from undergraduate nursing faculty and nursing supervisor
    • One- to two-page essay outlining professional and educational goals
    A complete application consists of:
    • Application form
    • One set of official transcripts from colleges and universities attended
    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree conferred
    • Evidence of satisfactory completion (grade of C, 2.0 or better) of:
      • A physical assessment course
      • An inferential statistics course
      • A nursing research course
    • Proof of licensure as a registered nurse in California
    • A current résumé with one year of recent nursing experience
    • Two letters of reference (one academic and one professional)
    • A one- to two-page essay outlining professional and educational goals

    Special Requirements

    Health insurance

    All students must provide proof of current healthcare insurance to the School of Nursing by the designated deadline. The deadline information will be provided at the School of Nursing orientation session. This is a mandatory requirement.

    Malpractice Insurance

    Students in the MSN program must carry their own malpractice insurance, pass a physical health examination, and demonstrate a sufficient immunization record consistent with that required of clinical placement in local health.

    Background check and drug screening

    Additionally, you will be required to complete a background check upon conditional admission to the School of Nursing. Below is the background check and drug screen policy:

    • The Office of Extended Learning will email each student in the cohort a letter of conditional admission. Soon after, students will receive an email with instructions on how to place an order for a background check/drug screen. Students will have approximately two weeks to order their background check online and complete the drug screen. If this deadline is not met, the student will not be guaranteed a seat in the cohort.
    • Students who have a flagged background check will not be admitted to the nursing program. Students will be able to join a later cohort pending space available when their background check is unflagged.
    • Students are required to have a negative urine drug screening and background check which includes a state, county, and federal screening. This background check is accessed by the clinical agencies for approval for clinical placement. If a student receives a dilute reading on his/her drug screen results, then the student is required to go back and re-test within a twenty-four hour time period. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in dismissal from the program.
    • In addition, some clinical sites will require students to complete a Live Scan clearance. If the student does not clear the Live Scan process, then s/he may not be permitted to attend the clinical rotation. The student risks dismissal from the program should this occur.
  • COSTS

    MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner

    Semester Units* Subtotal**

    Fall Semester 1

    7 $4,893
    Spring Semester 1 7 $4,893
    Summer Semester 1 3 $2,097
    Fall Semester 2 8 $5,592
    Spring Semester 2 8 $5,592
    Summer Semester 3 2

    $1,398

    Fall Semester 3 6 $4,194
    Spring Semester 3 8 $5,592
    Total 49 $34,251

    MSN - Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

    Semester Units* Subtotal**

    Fall Semester 1

    7 $4,893
    Spring Semester 1 7 $4,893
    Summer Semester 1 4 $2,796
    Fall Semester 2 7 $4,893
    Spring Semester 2 6 $4,194
    Summer Semester 3 6 $4,194
    Fall Semester 3 6 $4,194
    Spring Semester 3 9 $6,291
    Total 52 $36,348

    *Unit rate for each program is $699

    **University semester fees not included. View complete breakdown of Extended Learning fees. Semester tuition subtotals based on sample program sequence. All quoted tuition rates are based on previous academic years and are subject to change without notice.

    Funding and Financial Aid

    • This program is eligible for financial aid
    • Visit the Extended Learning funding page or call 760-750-4850 to learn more about your funding options
    • Federal VA educational benefits can be used for this program (not eligible for Cal Vet fee waiver)
    • Active duty military, veterans and dependents should visit the military services page or call 760-750-8705
  • COURSE SEQUENCE

    View course descriptions and specific program requirements on the MSN Catalog Page.

    Program Requirements

    Please note, students in the MSN program must carry their own malpractice insurance, pass a physical health examination and demonstrate a sufficient immunization record consistent with that required of clinical placement in local health.

    View specific program requirements and course descriptions on the Master of Science in Nursing Course Catalog Page.

     

    Sample Schedule - Family Nurse Practitioner

    Semester Course (units)

    Fall Semester 1

    NURS 500 (2)

    NURS 504 (3)

    NURS 530 (2)

    Spring Semester 1

    NURS 508 (2)

    NURS 510 (2)

    NURS 512 (3)

    Summer Semester 1

    NURS 502 (2)

    NURS 503A (1)

    Fall Semester 2

    NURS 506 (3)

    NURS 520 (2)

    NURS 526 (2)

    NURS 598 (1) - optional

    Spring Semester 2

    NURS 531 (1)

    NURS 532A (3)

    NURS 533D (4)

    NURS 598 (1) - optional

    Summer Semester 3

    NURS 560 (2)

    NURS 598 (1) - optional

    Fall Semester 3

    NURS 534A (2)

    NURS 535D (4)

    NURS 598 (1) - optional

    Spring Semester 3

    NURS 539 (4)

    NURS 554 (3)

    NURS 598 (1) - Required

    Sample Schedule - Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

    Please note: A total of 3 units in NURS 598 is required for graduation

    Semester Course (units)

    Fall Semester 1

    NURS 500 (2)

    NURS 504 (3)

    NURS 530 (2)

    Spring Semester 1

    NURS 508 (2)

    NURS 510 (2)

    NURS 512 (3)

    Summer Semester 1

    NURS 502 (2)

    NURS 503A (1)

    NURS 598 (1) - Required

    Fall Semester 2

    NURS 506 (3)

    NURS 580 (3)

    NURS 598 (1) - optional

    Spring Semester 2

    NURS 582 (2)

    NURS 583 (1)

    NURS 584 (3)

    NURS 598 (1) - optional

    Summer Semester 3

    NURS 532B (2)

    NURS 533C (4)

    NURS 598 (1) - optional

    Fall Semester 3

    NURS 534B (2)

    NURS 535C (4)

    NURS 598 (1) - optional

    Spring Semester 3

    NURS 539 (4)

    NURS 554 (3)

    NURS 538 (1)

    NURS 598 (1) - Required


    Schedules are subject to change.

  • FAQ

    What is a cohort?

    A cohort is a group of students who work through a curriculum together to achieve the same academic degree. Because they are accepted into the same program, take their classes together and graduate together, students in cohorts tend to form a strong support system and professional network that benefit them during their degree program and beyond.

    Is a thesis required?

    As part of this program, you will be required to draft a thesis or project proposal to meet the requirement for the graduate-level research course (NURS 510). You will form a thesis or project committee during the course and meet with members following completion of the course. Committee members will review and approve thesis or project proposals. You will advance to candidacy once you have successfully passed an oral defense of your thesis or project proposal. The thesis or project committee will assist with refinement of the proposal and with the research for the thesis or evaluation of the project and will serve as the committee for the oral examination once the thesis or project is completed.

    To advance to candidacy, you must:

    1. Be in good standing with an overall GPA of at least 3.0
    2. Have completed 21 units (22 units for the CNS concentration) of the core courses toward the graduate degree
    3. Have successfully proposed your thesis or project to the faculty

    What are the tracks and specialization options under the Advanced Practice Nursing concentration?

    This program offers several options to specialize. You can choose one of two specialization areas: Family Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse. Below are details for each.

     

    Family Nurse Practitioner Specialization helps you become an advanced practice registered nurse who delivers healthcare to individuals of all ages and their families throughout the lifespan. Family nurse practitioners serve as primary healthcare providers in a variety of settings. The family nurse practitioner operates in independent and collaborative practices in caring for patients and their families in the community. This includes skills in health assessment, diagnosis, health promotion, disease prevention and management of common acute and chronic illnesses. Upon completion of coursework, you will be eligible to sit for the ANCC credentialing exam. After passing the ANCC credentialing exam, you will then be eligible for California NP certification.

    Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Specialization helps you become an advanced practice Registered Nurse who focuses clinical practice on individuals, families or populations across the lifespan at risk for developing and/or having a diagnosis of psychiatric disorders or mental health problems. The psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner is a specialist who provides primary mental health care to patients seeking mental health services in a wide range of settings. This includes the assessment, diagnosis and management of mental health problems and psychiatric disorders. Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to sit for the ANCC credentialing exam. After passing the ANCC credentialing exam, you will then be eligible for California NP certification.

    Which professional organizations are available to me?

    What services do you offer to active military, veterans and dependents?

    Please visit our military and veteran services page to learn how we can help you with VA benefits, campus resources, financial aid and more.


 

“I appreciate the small class sizes and cohort format of the MSN program at CSUSM. It allows students the time and space to maximize their education and interact with their peers and instructors.”

– Jennifer Spahr

MSN, RN, CPN, NP-C, Graduate; Instructor, Bachelor of Science in Nursing

– Jennifer Spahr
 
 
 

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