Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Lead the next generation of nurses.


Next Start
Fall 2022
Online Format
Designed for
Working nurses
Academic Support
Individualized guidance and program plans
Clinical Placement
Coordinated for you by our dedicated, full-time placement coordinator

We care about you.

We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a physical and emotional toll on nurses everywhere. We see you and are so grateful for your service.

In the midst of this significant personal and professional challenge, we understand that graduate school may feel daunting. We care for our students and have designed our Master of Science in Nursing program to meet the unique needs of working students in this new healthcare reality. Let us help craft a program and schedule that meets your needs and enables you to make your professional goals a reality.

Before you begin your application, contact the Office of Student Services for your personalized program plan and to discuss how we can support you through your academic journey.

Graduate student in a clinical setting with a patient

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program prepares professional nurses as advanced generalists to serve as leaders within the health care system. Students have the option of choosing a specialty focus that aligns with their professional goals. Those who choose the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) specialty are eligible to take the exam for the CNL certification after graduation.

The MSN program is made for working nurses and all courses are delivered fully online. You will have access to a dedicated full-time placement coordinator who manages all of your clinical placements and academic advisors who create tailored program plans for each student. Choose from full-time and part-time schedules to integrate graduate school into your busy life.

The MSN curriculum is designed to provide students with the leadership skills essential for the integration of evidence-based practice at the patient-provider interface and coordination of the care delivery process that will improve client outcomes in a cost-effective, fiscally responsible manner.

Advanced Nursing Specialties:

  • Informatics
  • Palliative and Hospice Care
  • Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Leadership

Join the Fall 2023 Cohort

Applications are open for the Master of Science in Nursing program.
Submit your materials by May 1, 2023, to get started in the Fall 2023 semester.
Do you have questions about the program or the application process? Contact Kristin Norton, Office of Student Services Director, at [email protected].


MSN Course Progression Plan

Fall Year 1:

  • STA 610 - Applied Statistics for Health Professions: Project-oriented overview of major statistical techniques commonly used in problems encountered in health professions. Students will learn to use a major statistical computing package. Hypothesis testing, t-tests, regression, analysis of variance, analysis of covariance, categorical data analysis, and nonparametric statistics. 
  • NUR 608 - Leadership Roles in Complex SystemsIn this course, students analyze and evaluate theories and research that influence leadership in complex systems. Leadership is explored in complex system domains. Core competencies for leadership effectiveness are examined and evaluated, with application in an experiential field experience.
  • NUR 607 - Health Care System Policy and Politics  - This course focuses on policy decisions related to organization, financing, and delivery of health care in global communities. It provides a basis for understanding political and social forces that shape nursing practice and health care delivery. Ethical dimensions of public policy will be applied in field experiences.

Winter Year 1: 

  • NUR 698 - Scholarly Inquiry and Evidence-Based PracticeThis course focuses on the review and synthesis of literature to improve health care practice. Methodologic considerations and variable measurement are explored along with ethical considerations in human subjects. It is in sequence with statistics and quality improvement theory.
  • Specialty elective (ONE of the following):
    • NUR 641
    • NUR 705
    • PNH 632 OR
    • SW 669 - 
  • NUR 703 - Healthcare InformaticsThis course provides a detailed introduction to information systems and technologies that support systems of practice in healthcare. Relevant theories, as well as issues and standards including ethical and privacy concerns, are addressed. Strategies for building and managing information
    system components will be incorporated, with an opportunity for application in field experience.

Spring/Summer Year 1:

  • NUR 704 - Quality and Management in Healthcare
  • NUR 625 - Health Issues in Vulnerable PopulationsThis course examines and incorporates epidemiologic methods and theories in the assessment of health disparities in vulnerable populations. Course content will explore issues in health access, disparities in U.S. populations, and examine current trends, societal consequences, and contributory cause(s).
  • Specialty elective (ONE of the following):  
    • NUR 581
    • NUR 643
    • NUR 706

Fall Year 2:

  • NUR 615 - MSN Clinical Specialty Immersion/Capstone I
  • Specialty elective: NUR 582 (for Palliative and Hospice Care specialty)

Winter Year 2:

  • NUR 616 - MSN Clinical Specialty Immersion/Capstone II

Informatics students will select electives from the Interprofessional Health Informatics Certificate courses:

  • NUR 705 - Healthcare Decision Support
  • NUR 706 - Telehealth

Palliative and Hospice Care students will select electives from the Interprofessional Certificate Palliative and Hospice Care:

  • NUR 581 - Chronic and Terminal Illness: The Palliative and Hospice Model
  • NUR 582 - Complex Pain and Symptom Management
  • SW 669 - Death, Grief and Loss

Students will be prepared to sit for CNL certification exam if they take the required courses as electives and complete the required clinical practice/immersion hours (minimum 400 hours).

  • NUR 641 Advanced Human Sciences

For students interested in expanding leadership skills:

  • PNH 632 - Health Systems Finances

Clinical Immersion MSN hours:

  • NUR 615 (150 hours) **
  • NUR 616 (150 hours) **
  • NUR 607 (25 hours)
  • NUR 608 (25 hours)
  • NUR 643 (25 hours)***
  • NUR 703 (25 hours)
  • NUR 704 (25 hours)

Total clinical hours: 400-425** based on recommended credits sequencing and if ***NUR 643 is a chosen elective

**Variable credits (Choose practicum credits with approval by faculty):

  • NUR 615: 2-4 (minimum 2, recommend 3)
  • NUR 616: 2-4 (minimum 2, recommend 3) must total 6 credits by end of Winter 2nd year (2 credits are didactic and 4 credits are clinical hours)

Students interested in Nursing Education can now take the elective NUR 643 - Adult Learning Principles for Health Professionals, and NUR 641 - Advanced Human Sciences, to enhance nursing education skills and competencies.

Contact Us
Let's talk about your academic goals today!

Contact one of our expert advisors in our Office of Student Services to schedule an appointment:
[email protected]
(616) 331-7160

Related Programs

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program

Financial Aid

GVSU is a great place for students to invest in their futures. The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships can help you maximize your investment by working with you to determine how to most effectively meet your unique needs. 


The Kirkhof College of Nursing’s Master of Science in Nursing degree, Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner certificate programs prepare registered nurses to take the national certification exam in their area of specialty (clinical nurse leader, primary care adult/gerontology nurse practitioner, primary care pediatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, or nurse executive). Graduates seeking to practice in a state other than Michigan must meet the requirements of that state. For more information regarding state licensure/certification requirements, please visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) website at https://www.ncsbn.org/14730.htm.



Page last modified August 26, 2022