Master of Science in Nursing

The Department of Nursing offers the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree with a major in nursing and an emphasis in family health.  The Master of Science in Nursing program is designed to prepare students for careers as family nurse practitioners or as clinical nurse specialists in gerontolo­gy or family nursing.  Clinical nurse specialist students select a functional area in either nursing administra­tion or nursing education.


 Graduate Admission Requirements

Applicants must be fully admitted to the MSN degree program before taking nursing courses. Applicants for unconditional admission to the Master of Science in Nursing degree program must present evidence of:  a baccalaureate degree from a nationally accredited nursing school; an undergraduate GPA of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale); completion of prerequi­site courses (undergraduate research, physical assessment content, and graduate level statis­tics, students may be allowed to take graduate level statistics concurrently with enrollment in their first nursing courses in the program); evidence of current Kansas RN license and RN license in any state where clinical occurs; three references, and documentation of current nursing practice.  Critical thinking testing and a proctored writing sample will be required as part of the application process. Applicants must submit the Department of Nursing Health Form and documentation of immunizations, departmental application form with an application fee and sign a consent form for a state and national background check, and SRS Child Abuse background check.  Applicants with a criminal history and/or arrests for which action is still pending will be evaluated on an individual basis with no guarantee of admission.  There are specific requirements for reporting criminal history on the application for admission.  The number of admissions is limited; therefore, accep­tance into the program is competi­tive.  Application deadlines for first consideration: March 15th for summer/fall enrollment in the program. Admis­sion may be granted to applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 2.70 or higher with Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score of 800 (verbal plus Quantitative).  Required score must be on file at time of application. A student who is born outside of the United States is required to submit proof that he or she has taken and passed the TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language-Internet Based Test). Minimum scores for the TOEFL iBT are as follows:  Writing-20; Speaking-20; Reading-19; Listening-20, for a total of 79.  Each area must meet the minimum requirement.  At completion of common core courses, students must have:  current ACLS, minimum two years previous clinical experience, unconditional admission to graduate study at PSU, and unconditional admission to PSU graduate nursing department (and completed graduate folder).  A personal interview may be required.

All students will participate in the standardized testing program that includes a critical thinking post test.  Testing costs are the responsibility of the student.

 The Pittsburg State University nursing program requires applicants and admitted clinical nursing students to:

Notify the Department of Nursing in writing of any disciplinary action against ALL licenses, certifications and/or registrations as well as disciplinary action by a state board or governmental agency.  (Some examples are):  Driver’s License; Fishing License; Hunting License; Day Care License; Nursing Home Administrator License; Nursing License in Kansas or another state; CNA/CMA/HHA certification; School Teacher certification; Dishonorable discharge and/or other than honorable discharge from any branch of the military, disciplinary sanction from any branch of the military.

If disciplinary action has ever been taken against your driver’s license or other license, registration or certification, in Kansas or any other state, (for any reason), you are required to provide an explanatory letter regarding the disciplinary action(s) taken against your driver’s license or other license, registration or certification.   Your letter should include the following for each disciplinary action:

Circumstances leading up to the disciplinary action; date of the disciplinary action; actual disciplinary action; current status of the disciplinary action. The applicant may be required to provide certified/dated copies of disciplinary documents. 

Failure to notify the department on the application or within one day after admission, if a new action since application, may result in dismissal or suspension until the legal issue is resolved. Continuance in the major will be individually evaluated and will be at the sole discretion of the Pittsburg State University Department of Nursing. NOTE:  The Kansas State Board of Nursing and other state nursing boards have specific procedures for reporting disciplinary action on nursing applications (initial, reinstatement and endorsement.) The procedures are accessible by contacting the respective boards.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete 45-47 hours of coursework for the Master of Science in Nursing degree with a 3.00 GPA and no more than two “C’s” in 700 level and above course work in nursing taken as part of the BSN or MSN programs.  According to PSU policy, only six hours may be repeated with no course repeated more than once.  After complet­ing nine hours of graduate coursework, each student is required to submit a program (plan) of study in consultation with the major advisor.  All graduate students are required to pass a comprehensive examination in their last semester of enroll­ment.

Time Limit to Complete Degree

Credits earned more than six years before the date for granting the degree cannot be counted to meet requirements for the degree unless they are validated by special examina­tion.  Required courses more than six years old must be repeated unless they are validated.  Examinations and grades for validated courses are given by the course instructor or departmental faculty.

Courses are eligible for validation only if they have been taken within a ten year period from when the candidate's degree will be completed.  Courses from other institutions may not be validated; therefore, transferable courses must be no more than six years old at the time of granting the degree.

General Requirements

Students must satisfactorily complete 45-47 hours of approved coursework beyond the bachelor's degree.  No fewer than 35 hours must be in courses numbered 700 to 899.  At least 15 hours must be in courses numbered 800 to 899.

Option I Thesis: (NURS 890) includes six hours of thesis credit.

Option II Applied Research: (NURS 891) includes six hours of research problem credit.

Option III Course Work:  Successful completion of the functional area of Education or Administration (8 credit hours), which is not part of the student’s program plan of study.


The Department of Nursing reserves the right to make changes if necessary. Please consult the Department of Nursing website and current MSN program booklet for any recent changes.

The graduate program for the Master of Science in Nursing degree includes 45-47 hours from the follow­ing list of courses: