The Master of Science degree in nursing enlarges the focus of nursing, using as its foundation the basic baccalaureate nursing program. The program’s goals are directed toward educating the nurse leader. Leadership specializations include organizational leadership, public health nursing, clinical research management, and nursing informatics.

The KU School of Nursing's baccalaureate, master's, and doctor of nursing practice (DNP) programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 887-6791. This organization is a nationally recognized professional accrediting body for collegiate nursing programs. The baccalaureate, master’s, and DNP programs also are approved by the Kansas State Board of Nursing. The Nurse Midwifery Program is accredited by the Accreditation Division of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, 818 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006, (202) 728-9860.

MS Admission

Applications to the Master of Science in Nursing program are accepted twice a year. April 1st and September 1st are the respective deadlines for fall and spring semesters. Prospective students can apply using the KU Medical Center online application.

Application eligibility requirements include the following:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from a nationally accredited program (NLNAC or CCNE)
  • Current registered nurse licensure in at least one state in the United States
  • Minimum of one year of clinical work experience as a registered nurse
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Completion of a graduate-level statistics course either prior to admission or during first semester of graduate study
  • Satisfactory criminal background check
  • For international applicants whose native language is not English, a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language or the International English Language Testing System taken within the last 2 years is required. Visit KUMC Graduate Studies for more information.

MS Degree Requirements

The Master of Science degree in nursing requires completion of an approved curriculum with a grade-point average of 3.0 or above, a written thesis or project, and a comprehensive oral examination. The program’s goals are directed toward educating the nurse leader. Leadership specializations include:

  • The organizational leadership (OL) specialization prepares nurses to assume leadership positions in hospitals and other health agencies.
  • The public health (PH) specialization prepares nurses to develop advanced community-based interventions and determine outcomes with emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention strategies for a targeted population.
  • The clinical research management (CRM) specialization prepares the nurse to plan and implement clinical research trials.
  • The nursing informatics (NI) specialization prepares the nurse with skills in analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation of information systems that support a full range of clinical and patient care functions.

Joint Degree

Students may combine the Master of Science in Nursing (specialization in organizational leadership) with the Master of Health Services Administration. By combining some course work, the two degrees may be completed in fewer hours than if pursued independently.

Program Components

The leadership major presents a theoretical base specific to each specialization. Specialization courses are accompanied by practical experience that allows students to apply theory in a health care setting.

The MS in Nursing curriculum includes four core components:  common, leadership, research and specialty. Organizational Leadership and Nursing Informatics specializations each require 37 credit hours. Public Health requires 39 credit hours. Clinical Research Management (CRM) requires 41 credit hours.

Common Core

Common core nursing courses provide the core knowledge and skills essential to nurses practicing in any advanced area of nursing. Courses in this area are NRSG 748, NRSG 754, and NRSG 755.

Leadership Core

Courses in the leadership core provide the theoretical basis for the specializations in organizational leadership, public health nursing, and nursing informatics. Courses in this category are NRSG 808, NRSG 820, NRSG 826, NRSG 880, and NRSG 885. CRM requires NRSG 820, NRSG 826, and NRSG 880 from the leadership core and NRSG 731, NRSG 813, NRSG 806, and NRSG 812 from the advanced practice core (see DNP section).

Research Core

Nursing research courses focus on enhancing the nurse's ability to use research and participate in the development of new knowledge in nursing and health care. Courses in this category are NRSG 754 and NRSG 898 (project) or NRSG 899 (thesis).

Specialty Core

Courses in this category provide curriculum essential to nursing practice at the graduate degree level within each of the specialty areas. The core courses by specialty are:

Organizational Leadership

NRSG 881Applied Budgeting and Finance3
NRSG 882Introduction to Operations3
or NRSG 883 Complexity Science Approaches to Improve Organizational Effectiveness
NRSG 886Organizational Leadership Practicum3
NRSG 891Human Resources and Workforce Development3
HP&M 822Health Care Economics3

Public Health Nursing:

NRSG 809Health Promotion and Complementary Therapeutics3
NRSG 827Advanced Concepts Public Health Nursing2
NRSG 828Public Health Nursing: Practicum I3
NRSG 829Public Health Practicum3
PRVM 800Principles of Epidemiology3
PRVM 830Environmental Health3

Clinical Research Management:

NRSG 823Research Clinical Trial Management: Pre-Study Activities3
NRSG 824Research Clinical Trial Management: During Study Activities3
NRSG 825Research Clinical Trial Management: Post-Study Activities and Practicum Experience3
NRSG 833Managing Clinical Research Projects3
Advanced Practice Core:
NRSG 731Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics for Advanced Practice Nursing1
NRSG 806Advanced Physiology4
NRSG 812Advanced Pathophysiology3
NRSG 813Applied Drug Therapy3

Nursing Informatics:

NRSG 853Abstraction and Modeling of Healthcare Information3
NRSG 854Knowledge Management in Healthcare3
NRSG 856Health Informatics Practicum3
NRSG 857Transforming Health Care through Use of Information Systems and Technology3
NRSG 858Health Data: Theory and Practice3-4

Thesis/Project Option

The student may choose to complete a thesis for six credit hours (NRSG 899) or to complete a project for two credit hours (NRSG 898). The project involves applying aspects of the research process to the student’s area of nursing practice. A number of options are available for the project. Both thesis and project involve completion of a formal paper. The area of study from either thesis or project comprises a part of the comprehensive oral examination, which takes place at the end of the MS program.

Flexible Scheduling

The majority of students in the MS program are part-time students and many students are employed. To accommodate student need and preference, courses are offered online. Online classes typically include both asynchronous and synchronous learning activities.