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Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

King University’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program offers five concentration options to prepare you for a specialty role in advanced nursing practice, leadership in the nursing profession, and future doctoral study.

Geared towards practicing nurses who have earned a BSN degree, the MSN program is offered both online and on-campus to suit the diverse needs of our students. Through the program, you can obtain the advanced theoretical knowledge, research, and practice skills needed to excel in increasingly complex care settings.

Why Choose King University’s MSN Program?

Engaging Learning Environment

Our Master of Science in Nursing program has a low student-to-faculty ratio so that students can benefit from close interaction with their instructors and fellow peers. Students can receive personalized guidance and mentorship from our renowned faculty.

Clinical Experience and Service Learning

Requiring students to complete clinical hours, the MSN program provides the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills in real nursing situations. In addition, all Master of Science in Nursing students can participate in a major service-learning project during their program of study within their specialty concentrations by assisting in health clinics, schools, and community programs.

Flexible Online Learning Option

Designed for practicing nurses who have busy schedules, our MSN program offers a hybrid learning format and a fully online learning option. The hybrid program combines intensive in-person classes with online sessions. The fully online MSN program allows students to learn at their own pace without taking time off from their current full-time jobs.

Accreditation and Recognition

As a member of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), our School of Nursing strives to provide a rigorous, world-class education to our nursing students. Our master’s degree in nursing program is fully approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

King University Program - MSN

Master of Science in Nursing Specialization Tracks

Within our MSN program, you may choose from the following specialization areas, including Nursing Administration, Nurse Educator, Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

The Family Nurse Practitioner concentration includes a 45-semester-hour course of study. Designed to prepare students for advanced practice roles specializing in primary care, the concentration puts an emphasis on evidence-based practice, outcomes management, clinical research, and advanced clinical decision making. Students can study in a hybrid format by taking in-person concentration and clinical classes in Abingdon, Kingsport, and Knoxville one day per week along with flexible online core nursing courses. Review the full FNP plan of study.

Graduates of the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner concentration are eligible to take the Family Nurse Practitioner certification examination either through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) and may apply for an advanced practice nurse license as appropriate in their legal state of practice.

  1. Provide health maintenance and health promotion services to individuals and families across the lifespan.
  2. Diagnose and treat a variety of common health problems (actual and potential) commonly encountered in primary care settings.
  3. Utilize advanced practice nursing knowledge and clinical skills to help patients to achieve and/or maintain optimal health or to manage chronic conditions.
  4. Demonstrate critical thinking and analysis in the provision of safe, patient-centered, effective, and evidence-based primary care services.
  5. Provide knowledgeable and sensitive services to multicultural and diverse patient groups across the lifespan.
  6. Provide holistic care and serve as a patient advocate in accordance with the Christian belief in the dignity and worth of the individual and family.

A minimum of 600 clinical practicum hours are required for the advanced practice role as a family nurse practitioner. Students will gain experience in primary care across the lifespan within settings specializing in Pediatrics, Women’s Health, and Care of Geriatric and Adult Populations.

These clinical experiences are accomplished under the guidance of a faculty member and a community-based faculty approved preceptor.

The graduate nursing curriculum consists of courses in three areas of study:

  1. The advanced practice nursing core (required of all students)
  2. The advanced practice specialty core
  3. The nursing clinical and/functional specialization

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)

The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner concentration builds on students’ existing nursing knowledge with preparation for advanced practice roles specializing in pediatric primary care from birth through adolescence. The concentration focuses on enhancing students’ knowledge in health maintenance, illness prevention, management of common acute and chronic pediatric illnesses, and patient/family education. The PNP program is a combination of online synchronous intensives 1-2 days each semester and online classes. Students may take intensives at King’s Hardin Valley location in Knoxville, Tennessee. For those who wish to only take online courses, please see our online Master of Science in Nursing PNP option.

View the full PNP plan of study.

Graduates of the PNP concentration are eligible to take the Primary Care Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner exam through the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB) and may apply for an advanced practice nurse license as appropriate in their legal state of practice.

  1. Provide health maintenance and health promotion services to individuals and families.
  2. Diagnose and treat a variety of common health problems (actual and potential) commonly encountered in primary care settings.
  3. Utilize advanced practice nursing knowledge and clinical skills to help patients to achieve and/or maintain optimal health or to manage chronic conditions.
  4. Demonstrate critical thinking and analysis in the provision of safe, patient-centered, effective, and evidence-based primary care services.
  5. Provide knowledgeable and sensitive services to multicultural and diverse patient groups across the lifespan.
  6. Provide holistic care and serve as a patient advocate in accordance with the Christian belief in the dignity and worth of the individual and family.

A minimum of 600 clinical practicum hours are required for the advanced practice role as a pediatric nurse practitioner. Students will gain experience in pediatric primary care across the lifespan within settings specializing in Pediatrics and Women’s Health.

These clinical experiences are accomplished under the guidance of a faculty member and a community-based faculty approved preceptor.

The graduate nursing curriculum consists of courses in three areas of study:

  1. The advanced practice nursing core (required of all students)
  2. The advanced practice specialty core
  3. The nursing clinical and/functional specialization

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

The Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner track provides a five-semester plan of study to equip students with advanced nursing skills for roles in psychiatric mental health care. The program develops students’ expertise in psychiatric mental health with a focus on assessing, diagnosing, and managing mental health and psychiatric disorders in a variety of settings. Students gain an optimal understanding of psychopharmacology and psychotherapies and application in the clinical area. By completing the program, graduates can take the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certification exam through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and may apply for an advanced practice nurse license as appropriate in their legal state of practice.

The Master of Science in Nursing PMHNP concentration offers online classes with some synchronous sessions with nursing faculty. View the full PMHNP plan of study.

  1. Promote optimal mental health, prevention of psychiatric disorders and health maintenance
  2. Assess, diagnose, and treat a variety of mental health disorders
  3. Utilize advanced nursing knowledge and clinical skills to provide continuous and comprehensive mental health care to acute and chronic patients across the lifespan
  4. Demonstrate holistic patient care in the use of psychotherapies and psychopharmacologic treatments of behavior disorders
  5. Applies therapeutic relationship strategies based on theories and evidence-based research to reduce stress and facilitate cognitive and behavioral change
  6. Provides knowledgeable and sensitive services to multicultural and diverse patient groups while incorporating the patient’s own values and beliefs
  7. Serve a patient advocate in accordance with the Christian belief in the dignity and worth of the individual and family
  • A minimum of 600 clinical practicum hours are required for the advanced practice role as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Students will gain clinical experience across the lifespan in settings such as in-patient psychiatric facilities, mental health clinics, offices, and others.
  • Clinical experiences are accomplished under the guidance of a faculty member and a community-based, faculty-approved preceptor.
  • The graduate nursing curriculum consists of courses in three areas of study:
    1. The advanced practice nurse core (required of all MSN students)
    2. The advanced practice specialty core
    3. The advanced nursing clinical/functional specialization

Nurse Educator

The MSN Nurse Educator concentration prepares students for various academic teaching roles such as nursing faculty, health educator, and clinical nurse instructor. The program coursework focuses on developing students’ skills and knowledge in curricular design, classroom assessment, evaluation of education outcomes, and using technology in teaching.

This concentration offers online courses and provides students the opportunity to complete practicum experiences in the academic and clinical education setting. The practicum of the Nurse Educator concentration is individually designed and allows students to develop their clinical teaching skills in their chosen specialties.

View the Nurse Educator Fall Plan of Study

View the Nurse Educator Spring Plan of Study

  1. Develop educational strategies to promote holistic learning in individuals and groups with diverse backgrounds and developmental levels.
  2. Apply teaching and learning theory to the design, implementation and evaluation of learning processes.

420 minimum clinical practicum hours

Note: These clinical experiences are accomplished under the guidance of a faculty member and a preceptor in field study and internship courses. All preceptors MUST hold a minimum preparation at the master’s level.

39 semester hours

Nursing Administration

The MSN Nursing Administration concentration synthesizes students’ nursing experiences with business knowledge. It dissects advanced concepts and theories related to finance, economics, human resources, leadership, and ethics from the perspective of health care management. Students learn to apply these concepts to develop their interpersonal and visionary attributes as nurse leaders. Graduates of the program are prepared to be successful in mid-level and upper-level management roles such as nurse managers, nurse directors, or chief nurse executives.

Ideal for busy practicing nurses, the Nursing Administration concentration is available online. Want to know more about the coursework? Take a look at our Nursing Administration Fall Plan of Study and Nursing Administration Spring Plan of Study.

  1. Develop strategies to achieve quality outcomes in care delivery with respect to fiscal and human resources.
  2. Apply management theory in the design and implementation of services in a health care system.

395 minimum clinical practicum hours

Note: These clinical experiences are accomplished under the guidance of a faculty member and a preceptor in field study and internship courses. All preceptors MUST hold a minimum preparation at the master’s level.

How Long Does it Take to Earn an MSN Degree?

With the courses and clinical requirements or practicum, generally speaking, you could finish your MSN degree in as few as five consecutive semesters. However, the length of the MSN program varies depending on the chosen concentration and your personal schedule.

For example, the Nurse Educator concentration required 39 credits to complete, whereas the Nursing Administration concentration only requires 35 credits. On the other hand, the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) concentrations require 45 credits for program completion, while the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) track requires 48 credits. In addition, all concentrations of the MSN program require students to complete clinical practicum hours, although the specific hour requirements vary depending on the chosen concentration. For more information about the curriculum and program length, please take a look at our MSN Student Handbook.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Career Outlook

Earning an MSN degree not only leads to a vast number of employment opportunities in the nursing field but also increases your earning potential. Registered nurses with MSN degrees are prepared to work in diverse settings as nurse educators, advanced nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, or nurse managers. If you are interested in climbing the career ladder in the nursing profession, getting a master’s degree in nursing is the gateway to your successful career.

From a perspective of salary growth, nurses with MSN degrees have a higher income, compared to nurses with bachelor’s degrees. According to PayScale, registered nurses with a BSN degree can make an average salary of $85,584 per year, while those with a Master’s degree in Nursing can make an average annual income of $95,166.

Master of Science in Nursing Admission Requirements

Students who are interested in applying to our MSN program must submit the following documents:

  • King University online application.
  • Official transcripts of all academic work demonstrating a baccalaureate degree in nursing from a school accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree that includes coursework in Health Assessment, Nursing Research/Evidence-based Practice, and Statistics. (Pathophysiology is recommended for FNP, PNP, PMHNP, and Nurse Educator programs).
  • A brief personal essay – prompt provided by admissions.
  • Two letters of recommendation: One academic (former nursing instructor) and one from a professional source. An additional academic recommendation is required for those seeking guaranteed admission (see more on guaranteed admission below).
  • Copy of current curriculum vitae including professional organization memberships and activities and community service.
  • Copy of current unencumbered RN license (Students must have an RN license or ability to practice as an RN in any state where practicum hours will be completed).
  • Copy of certificates in the area of clinical specialization (if applicable).
  • Official GRE score.

Applicants may be notified to attend optional interviews by the admission committee.

Guaranteed Admission

Students completing the BSN degree from King University may apply for guaranteed admission to the MSN program during the final semester of the BSN program. In addition to the standard MSN admission requirements, students applying for guaranteed admission must meet the following criteria:

  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • Three letters of recommendation: Two academic and one professional.
  • Received no academic sanctions during the BSN program.

Note: Guaranteed admission is contingent on the time of application and seats available per semester.