MASTER OF NURSING DEGREE
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NURSING - MSN
- Completed application form.
- Official transcripts from a regionally accredited college or university documenting the award of a BSN or BSN Equivalent*. All previous undergraduate and graduate transcripts must be submitted. All nursing course credit earned must be from a specialized nursing accredited academic program.
- A grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate and graduate course work reflected on transcript(s).
- Official scores for the Graduate record Exam (GRE) from within the past five years.
- Submit three recommendations on the form provided in the application form. One recommendation must be from a peer, and one from a supervisor.
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL); All international students applying must take the TOEFL and submit official scores to the Office of Admission. A written-based score of 550, computer-based score of 213, or Internet-based score of 79 is required for full admission. Applicants may retake the TOEFL exam.
- A current unencumbered RN license to practice nursing in any state with eligibility for licensure in LA is required.
- A minimum of one year of clinical experience; some specializations may require more experience.**
- American Heart Association (AHA) BLS/Healthcare Provider is required for admission. A copy of certification must be submitted with the application form.***
- One example of a published or unpublished scholarly paper written by the applicant and submitted with the application.
* A BSN Equivalent must have the equivalency documented on the official transcript.
** Nurse Practitioner Students - a minimum of one year experience within the last 5 years.
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Students - two years experience in Level III NICU.
Nurse Anesthesia Students - a minimum of one year, full time, critical care experience within the previous two years at the time of application to the program.
*** Nurse Anesthesia Students - in addition to the BLS/Healthcare Provider, all Nurse Anesthesia Students must possess the Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS. These certifications must be submitted with the application form.
Master of Science in Nursing - MSN
The faculty believes that graduate education degrees in nursing should be based on undergraduate general education and professional knowledge, attitudes and applied skills, which evolve from the concept that the individual is a holistic being. As nursing curricula progress from undergraduate to graduate education, the focus of the scope of practice affords students the opportunity to study, in-depth, knowledge in selected roles in nursing such as clinical nurse specialists, administrators, educators, consultants, nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioners; to refine clinical competencies; to develop an advanced clinical practice; and to utilize and conduct research. Graduate programs in nursing have the mission of educating qualified persons to improve nursing, health care, and education in order to advance the discipline of nursing.
The purpose of the Master of Science in Nursing curriculum is to prepare a nurse with the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to function in a specialty area. The program prepares advanced clinical practitioners including clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse practitioners as well as nurses with expertise in the areas of community and public health, nursing administration or nursing education. The Master of Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing degree also prepares graduates to function in interprofessional roles as providers and organizers serving patient-specific and population-based care across the continuum in various health care settings. Central to the curriculum are LSUHSC-School of Nursing core values, theoretical concepts and complex decision-making and problem-solving skills necessary for the advanced practice registered nurse to impact health care delivery and patient outcomes. Knowledge of core content includes nursing theory, research, policy, organization, health care financing, ethics, leadership, professional role development, and health promotion and disease prevention. Knowledge of advanced practice nursing core content includes advanced health assessment, physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology. Specialty content identified and described by the specialty nursing organizations will be included in the specialty curricula.
The purposes of the expected outcomes are to define the content that forms the foundation of all Master’s nursing education irrespective of specialty and to offer the graduates a foundation for doctoral studies.
- Apply evidence-based knowledge and theories to stimulate research in a specialized area of advanced practice nursing and in the areas of community and public health, nursing administration or nursing education.
- Advocate for and influence the development of nursing practice and health policy.
- Utilize ethical principles and demonstrate accountability in advanced practice nursing and in the areas of community and public health, nursing administration or nursing education.
- Provide culturally competent individualized health to groups and populations.
- Incorporate health promotion and disease prevention theories and research in empowering patient/clients as individuals, families and communities, to optimize their health status across the life span.
- Provide leadership in patient care and the healthcare system in the role of advanced practice nursing and in the areas of community and public health, nursing administration or nursing education.
Admission to graduate program normally occurs twice per year. The deadline for submission of applications for fall admission is February 1 and for spring admission is September 1. Any exception to this admission schedule is directed to the Associate Dean or the Dean. Application forms for admission to degree programs of study leading to a Master of Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing can be obtained through the LSUHSC website (www.lsuhsc.edu) or by contacting the Office of Student Affairs. Potential applicants are urged to request information well in advance of desired date of admission.
Types of Admission
Unconditional Admission is normally granted to applicants who meet all requirements for admission to the program.
Probationary Admission: may be granted to applicants who fail to meet all qualifications but who are judged by the faculty to show promise for successful graduate work based on their merits on an individual basis.
Provisional Admission is granted to applicants who are unable, for good reason, to supply the required credentials prior to the stated deadline. In such cases the credentials must be received not later than 30 days after the first day of class (includes Summer Session). MNNA applicants must submit credentials (BLS, ACLS, and PALS) prior to enrollment.
Non-Degree Status Non-degree status is granted to applicants who desire to enroll in graduate courses but have not been admitted into a program of study. Non-degree seeking students may not enroll in more than 6 hours. Admission under this status is selective; may be limited depending on program resources; and is granted by the Dean.
Requirements for Non-Degree Status are as follows:
- Completed application.
- Transcript indicating graduation from an approved program.
- A current unencumbered license to practice nursing in Louisiana.
- A current resume that documents at least one year of clinical experience.
- Completed health records.
RN to MSN Track
- Submit a completed application.
- A complete official transcript from an accredited program with an Associate Degree of Diploma in Nursing indicating a minimum of 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in nursing and supportive courses.
- Submit three recommendations on the form provided within the application form. One recommendation must be from a peer, and one from a supervisor.
- Complete all pre-requisites.
- A minimum of one year of clinical nursing experience.
- Official scores from the Graduate record Exam (GRE) from within the past five years.
- Completion of a personal interview with a designated faculty member prior to filing application.
- A current unencumbered license to practice professional nursing in Louisiana.
- Provides evidence that meets student health requirements.
- Proof of immunization and proof of immunity by positive titer results for Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella and Hepatitis B as required by clinical practice.
- Adequate health insurance coverage.
Master of Science in Nursing - MSN
- Submit a completed application by deadline: February 1st for Fall admission and September 1st for Spring admission
- An official transcript from the accredited college or university where you earned your BSN as well as transcripts for all college course work.
- A grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale for all undergraduate and graduate course work reflected on transcript(s).
- Official scores for the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken within the last five (5) years.
- Three letters of reference as specified on the application form.
- A minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for all applicants who have English as a second language or are not graduates of programs in the United States.
- A current unencumbered license to practice nursing in any state with eligibility for licensure in Louisiana.
- Basic life support certification.
- Essay/Goal Statement.
Students must comply with the general Health Sciences Center provisions governing registration as specified in the general information section of this publication. Continuous registration for each academic semester is required to maintain student status in the graduate nursing program of study.
Full Time Study
The minimum requirements for full time enrollment in graduate study is nine semester hours during a regular academic semester and six semester hours during a summer session. Permission to register for more than fifteen credit hours in any one semester may be granted by the Associate Dean or the Dean upon the recommendation of the student’s faculty advisor.
Graduate students enrolled full-time at LSUHSC SON may cross enroll in the LSU system. Students are required to complete the Application for LSU System Multi-Campus Registration form. Cross enrollment must be approved by the Associate Dean or the Dean. Once signed completed forms are submitted to the Office of Student Affairs during the pre-registration period of each semester.
A limited number of stipends may be available to graduate students registered for full time study. For information regarding stipend assistance, contact the Associate Dean for Nursing Research, Scholarship, and Science.
Registration for Degree Candidates
Candidates for degrees are required to register for graduate study during the semester they have been confirmed to receive a degree.
Residency or Foreign Language Requirements
There is no residency or foreign language requirements for the master’s program of study.
Registration for Non-Nursing Electives
Graduate students may register for support courses and non-nursing electives in any institution within the LSU System provided they have been approved by the faculty advisor or major professor. Master’s degree students may take one 4000 level course provided the course is listed as a graduate division course. Support courses taken by doctoral students at LSUHSC or at other universities must be designated as graduate level courses with assigned graduate numbers according to that University’s policy. All support courses must be approved by the student’s major professor.
Academic Progression Graduate Programs
Eligibility to continue registration in the graduate degree programs of study is dependent upon satisfactory removal of all provisional or probationary conditions imposed at admission, achievement of a “B” or better for each nursing course completed, and maintenance of a 3.0 grade point average for all course work completed while enrolled in the graduate program of study. In addition, see doctoral sections regarding progression in the doctoral programs.
A grade below B in a graduate course in nursing is considered unsatisfactory performance. The student will be permitted to continue in graduate study until the course is repeated at the next time it is offered and a grade of B or better has been achieved, provided that a 3.0 GPA and good academic standing is maintained. A course may be repeated once with the approval of the faculty advisor or course instructor.
Re-Entry Graduate Programs
Students who have been accepted for graduate study and who have not maintained continuous registration, i.e. have been absent for two semesters or more, must submit a petition for re-entry at least one semester prior to the semester in which they wish to reenter. Supplementary transcripts must be submitted for course work taken at another institution during the interim. Nurse Anesthesia students must re-apply and be re-interviewed.
Student Responsibility for Degree Requirements
In matters concerning courses and curricula, the School of Nursing prescribes certain standards, which are enforced. These may be regarded as minimum requirements.
- Graduate students are responsible for acquainting themselves with the general regulations and specific requirements, which are applicable to their particular program of study. All students are required to meet with their academic advisors each semester for approval of the semester course plan prior to registration.
Graduate Grading System
The graduate degree program of study employs a letter grade and quality point system where A = 4 quality points, indicates superior work, and is equivalent to 90 - 100 numerical points. A grade of B = 3 quality points, indicates satisfactory work, and is equivalent to 80-89 numerical points. A grade of C is below expected academic performance, yields 2 quality points, and the numerical equivalent is 70-79. A grade of D = 1 quality point is an unsatisfactory grade and represents 60 - 69 numerical points. The grade of F carries no quality points, is an unsatisfactory grade, and numerically represents a score of 59 or less.
There are three interim grades used in the graduate degree program of study. These are “I, “S,” and “U.” The “I” grade indicates satisfactory performance by the student who, due to unavoidable circumstances, cannot complete course requirements before the close of the semester. The student may obtain permission for the “I” grade by petitioning the course professor, and the Associate Dean or the Dean of the School for extended time to complete the required work. An additional extension of time through a second petition may be filed with faculty permission. A grade of “I” will be converted to an “F” unless it is removed prior to the deadline for adding courses for the next semester as published in the calendar. If removal of the “I” is not finished in a timely manner and reported to the Office of Student Affairs, the “I” grade will automatically be converted to the grade of “F.” The student should refer to the academic calendar for dates of deadlines for removal of incomplete grades.
The grade of “S” is awarded for satisfactory work in thesis and dissertation courses. Upon completion of all requirements, the “S” is converted to “P” for the thesis or dissertation. A grade of “U” is awarded for unsatisfactory thesis or dissertation work. Students who earn a “U” have two semesters (one calendar year) to complete the thesis or dissertation.
“W” is the grade issued to all students who enroll and subsequently withdraw from a course after attending up to 20 percent of actual class time. A grade of F is awarded to any student who attends 80 percent or more of actual class time and who withdraws before completion of the course.
Students writing a thesis are required to register for advisement before receiving assistance from the committee chairperson or any committee member. After completion of course work, continuous registration in thesis is required. Failure of students to continuously register for and satisfactorily (S grade) complete NURS 6390 each semester may result in termination from the master’s program.
Students may petition for a change or alteration in curriculum requirements for the following reasons:
- Substitution of one course for another course where sufficient evidence is present that the course being substituted meets the intent of the required course
- Alteration in admission, progression or graduation requirements
- Request for challenge exam, correspondence course, or transfer credit
The completed petition is returned to the Office of Student Affairs after being reviewed and signed by the student’s advisor. The Admissions, Progression, and Graduation Committee will act on the petition, and send a written response to the student. All petitions must be submitted no later than one month prior to registration in order for the action of the Committee to be effective at registration time.
Graduate students may petition to transfer credits from other accredited universities for application to LSUHSC degree programs. The maximum transfer allowed is twelve semester hours when studying at the master’s level and fifteen semester hours when studying at the doctoral level. Graduate course work may be transferred provided each course:
- Fulfills the requirements specified in the student’s graduate degree plan.
- Achieved a grade of “B” or better in course(s).
- Was not counted toward another degree or taken through correspondence courses.
- Was completed within the eight year time limit for the degree.
- Transfer credit for each course may be requested and applied to a graduate degree only one time.
Students will not receive credit for any course taken outside LSUHSC when it is offered the same semester at LSUHSC or the LSU System. Petitions must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor or major professor and the Associate Dean for the perspective program or the Dean.
Time Limit for Degrees
Graduate students have eight years from the first time of registration to complete all conditions for the master’s degree.
Limitation on Faculty Seeking Graduate Degrees through SON
Faculty of the School of Nursing holding the rank of Assistant Professor or higher may not earn a graduate degree in nursing at the LSUHSC School of Nursing. Faculty holding the rank of Instructor may register for a maximum of six semester hours per semester in the graduate program.
Graduation Requirements: MN/MSN Degree
Students must meet the following program specific degree requirements:
- Satisfactory completion of 36 to 50 semester hours as specified by the curriculum, excluding the Nurse Anesthesia Curriculum.
- Fulfillment of all clinical practice hours as specified by the curriculum.
- A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on all college work attempted at LSUHSC with no grade lower than a B in nursing courses, and no grade lower than a C in the supporting non-nursing courses.
- Approval by the Admissions, Progression and Graduation (A, P & G) committee and given recommendation by the faculty of the School of Nursing.
- Attendance at rehearsal, pre-commencement and commencement unless specifically excused by the Dean.
- Completion of end of course evaluations, exit survey, and all components of compliance training.
- Verification that all materials belonging to the Health Sciences Center and cooperating agencies have been returned through the proper procedures. All indebtedness to the University must be satisfied before a diploma may be issued. These materials would include but not limited to, items such as library books, equipment, keys, furniture or any outstanding, unpaid balances due.
- For the Nurse Anesthesia specialization the following graduation requirements are also required:
- Meet all the requirements of LSHUSC and the School of Nursing.
- Meet all the requirements of the accrediting/approval bodies for licensure and certification.
- Administer a minimum of 550 anesthetics.
- Administer all required cases as stipulated by the Council on the Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Programs.
- Complete all nursing and nurse anesthesia courses with a grade of “B” or better.
- Complete the overall sequence of courses with a grade point average of 3.0 or better.
- Complete the requirements of the capstone project and professional portfolio.
- Possess current BLS, ACLS, and PALS certification.
- Successful completion of the NBCRNA Self Evaluation Examination (SEE) with a minimum score at or above the 20th percentile for second year students.
Procedure for Obtaining Master of Science in Nursing Degree
A candidate must contact the Office of Student Affairs to have academic records evaluated for compliance with degree requirements. This request should be accomplished at the beginning of the semester prior to the semester in which the degree is to be awarded. After the degree compliance form has been signed by the Dean (or an authorized representative), it should be presented in the Office of the Registrar. Each candidate must make an application for degree during the final semester in residence, stating the exact name, which, is to appear on the diploma.
Master of Science in Nursing
The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) are specialized professional degrees similar to others offered in the LSU System. The total number of credits for the degree is between 36 to 50 semester hours (excluding Nurse Anesthesia). Students may attend full or part time. A curriculum plan is designed by the student and faculty advisor in accordance with the student’s educational goals and interests. Core courses are required of students regardless of selected role and concentration.. The structure and content of the curriculum are based on the rationale that theory provides the conceptual basis for nursing practice. Courses are arranged so that theory and practice are presented concurrently.
Core Non-Nursing Courses
The core non-nursing course that is required for all MN and MSN students is:
Nursing Role and Population Concentration
The nursing role and population concentration for the Master of Nursing Degree include: Adult Health Nursing Clinical Nurse Specialist, Psychiatric-Community Mental Health Nursing Clinical Nurse Specialist; Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner; Nurse Anesthesia; Advanced Public Health-Community Health Nursing, and Nursing Administration. Each nursing role and population concentration builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in the Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and emphasize the utilization of theoretical formulations as a basis for nursing practice. Graduates are prepared for direct administrative, community health or advanced clinical practice as providers and organizers of the health care delivery system.
Master of Science in Nursing Curriculum Tracks