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MS Nursing

Clarion University’s academic structure has recently been reorganized. The information on these pages is valid for students who began their degrees prior to fall 2014.

For students looking for information about degrees in the new academic structure, it can be found on the college web pages:

College of Arts, Education and Sciences
College of Business Administration and Information Science
Venango College

For students seeking information about degree programs prior to fall 2014, it is available in the 2013-15 Undergraduate Catalog or in the 2013-15 Graduate Catalog.

A new catalog reflecting the reorganized academic structure will be available this fall.  Curricular questions should be directed to your academic advisor.

Nursing 2



The Master of Science in Nursing program is sponsored jointly by Clarion and Edinboro universities. There are two concentration areas in this program: family nurse practitioner (FNP) and nurse educator (NE).

The FNP concentration is 45 semester hours in length and includes 600 hours of clinical practice. FNP graduates are prepared to provide primary care in medically under-served areas in western Pennsylvania and are eligible to apply to the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing for legal certification as certified registered nurse practitioners (CRNP) in family health after passing professional certification esams through either the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP).

The NE concentration is 36 semester hours in length and includes 135 hours of mentored teaching experience. NE graduates learn to design, implement, and evaluate instruction and are prepared to teach in diploma and associate degree programs as well as to fill clinical education and staff development positions in hospitals and other health care institutions. NE graduates meet the educational requirements to sit for the National League for Nursing Certified Nurse Educator exam.

Courses for both program concentrations are delivered online with the exception of clinical practica and a limited number of skill labs and workshops. Graduates of the program receive a joint degree granted by both universities. Students may select one university site for receiving advisement and may utilize facilities and services of both universities.

The MSN program is accredited by the Accredeting Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Students should check the program Website for the most up-to-date information. Information about program requirements and administrative matters is also available at both universities.


Program Objectives

The Master of Science in Nursing program affords advanced practice nurses the opportunity to develop as expert clinicians or nurse educators, participate in shaping health policy, and contribute to research that improves patient care or nursing education. The nursing program provides the foundation for a life-long process of personal and professional growth as well as for doctoral education. Specifically designed for the working professional, all didactic courses are taught online. Most students study on a part-time basis.


Program Outcomes

Graduates are prepared to:

  • Synthesize established and evolving knowledge from nursing, the sciences and humanities into advanced practice nursing.

  • Incorporate professional/legal standards and moral/ethical values into a culturally sensitive practice.

  • Provide advanced nursing practice that reflects critical thinking and effective interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Appraise and assimilate theory and scientific evidence to investigate and evaluate practice based issues.

  • Demonstrate awareness and responsiveness to systems-based practice through advocacy, collaboration and effective use of resources.


Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for both include MSN concentrations are the following:

  • Payment of the application fee

  • Evidence of an earned baccalaureate degree in nursing from an accredited program

  • Licensure as a registered nurse in the state where they plan to complete clinical practicum

  • An undergraduate QPA of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale or a graduate QPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (if seeking second MSN degree)

  • One year of recent full-time clinical practice or two years of part-time clinical practice (2,000 hours)

  • Evidence of completion, in the past five years, of a college-level statistics course with a "C" or better


Application Deadlines

Early admission deadline— All completed applications received by October 1 will be reviewed and considered for early admission into the MSN program for the upcoming fall term. Interviews will be completed by November 1. Applicants meeting the criteria for early admission will be notified by December 15.

Regular admission deadline—All completed applications received by March 1 will be reviewed and considered for regular admission into the MSN program for the upcoming fall term. Interviews will be completed by April 1. Applicants meeting the criteria for admission will be notified by May 15.

Applicants meeting admission criteria are accepted on a “space available” basis. An applicant may be placed on a waiting list for the upcoming fall admission or for the following fall admission.

NOTE: Admission is highly competitive. If seats for the upcoming fall term are filled at the early admission deadline, there will be no review of applications in April. Therefore, applicants are strongly advised to apply early.

For detailed instructions and to request an application, visit


Second Master's Policy

Second Master's Degree Curriculum (Family Nurse Practitioner)

Individuals holding a graduate degree in nursing may earn a second masters in nursing degree in the Clarion and Edinboro universities' Family Nurse Practitioner concentration. In order to qualify for a second master's degree, regardless of where the first degree was earned, graduate students must successfully complete a minimum of 30 hours of credit in the Clarion/Edinboro program beyond the first master's degree and meet program requirements with respect to the required semester hours of credit and courses for the major.

Second master's degree students would typically have transfer credits in nursing theory and research that could apply to the requirements of NURS 605: Evolution of Nursing Theory, NURS 610: Advanced Concepts in Nursing Research, and NURS 800: Scholarly Project/Thesis. Students may petition for life experience credits for NURS 614: Health Promotion: Family and Community Perspectives and NURS 645: Nursing and Public Policy. Clinical courses and the internship are required of all degree students regardless of prior advanced education.

Post-Master's Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate

A post-master’s family nurse practitioner certificate is available to individuals who hold a master’s degree in nursing from an accredited program. A program of study that meets all requirements for the graduate to sit for national certifying exams will be tailored to the individual. A minimum of 15 credits is required to earn a certificate.


Program Policies

  • Nursing License Requirement: All students are required to possess a current Pennsylvania Nursing License or a license in the state where the clinical experience will be precepted.

  • Students may transfer up to 12 credits of approved non-clinical course work if courses were taken within five years. Students may transfer up to nine credits from another master's degree.

  • Students may challenge up to three credits of course work with permission.

  • Students are admitted into this program after they have met the graduate admission requirements and have been recommended for acceptance by the Admission, Progression, and Graduation committee. Notification of acceptance is by the Graduate Studies office of Clarion University (Administrative Site).

  • Students are encouraged to have identified potential preceptors by the time they register for clinical courses in which a preceptor is required.



Upon admission to the MSN program, students are assigned a faculty advisor at the university closest to their home. Before beginning the first course, successful applicants should meet with the graduate advisor for orientation and assistance in planning their program of studies. This can be accomplished face-to-face, by phone, e-maiul, or desktop conferencing.



The following courses are required of all students graduating with a Master of Science in Nursing:

Core courses:
* NURS 601: Advanced Concepts in Pathophysiology, 3 s.h.
NURS 602: Pharmacologic Applications, 3 s.h.
** NURS 605: Evolution of Nursing Theory, 3 s.h.
NURS 610: Advanced Concepts in Nursing Research, 3 s.h.
NURS 614: Health Promotion: Family and Community Perspectives, 3 s.h.
NURS 645: Nursing and Public Policy, 3 s.h.
NURS 800: Scholarly Project/Thesis, 3 s.h.

* NURS 601 is a prerequisite to NURS 602 and is a prerequisite or co-requisite to NURS 615 and NURS 616.
** NURS 605 is a prerequisite to NURS 610.

Courses with a clinical component:
NURS 615: Advanced Health Assessment, 2 s.h.
NURS 616: Advanced Health Assessment Practicum, 2 s.h.
NURS 620: Clinical Decision Making I, 1 s.h.
NURS 621: Clinical Decision Making I Practicum, 2 s.h.
NURS 622: Family Nurse Practitioner Role Development, 1 s.h.
NURS 630: Clinical Decision Making II, 3 s.h.
NURS 632: Clinical Decision Making II Practicum, 2 s.h.
NURS 640: Clinical Decision Making III, 3 s.h.
NURS 642: Clinical Decision Making III Practicum, 2 s.h.
NURS 750: Family Nurse Practitioner Internship, 6 s.h.



Degree Requirements

To fulfill degree requirements for graduation, the student must complete 45 semester hours of required course work for the family nurse practitioner concentration and 36 semester hours of required course work for the nurse educator concentration. The student must maintain a QPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale. Successful completion of a comprehensive assessment in the form of a professional portfolio is required. A scholarly project/thesis is also required for graduation. All degree requirements must be completed within six years of the first date of enrollment.