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Master of Science in Nursing

Entry-Level Master's Program for Non-Nurses

Minnesota and the United States more broadly are experiencing a nursing shortage. The field of nursing needs more professionals who approach health care from a whole-person perspective, recognizing the many factors that contribute to a person's health and well-being.

With a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the University of St. Thomas, you will be prepared to enter this high-demand field and provide the care, advocacy, and interprofessional collaboration so urgently needed in the field.

Graduates will be educated to work as generalists in a variety of settings. The program will prepare you to sit for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing NCLEX-RN® licensure exam. Over the course of earning your degree, you'll gain real-world experience during work in a clinical setting.

Why St. Thomas?

The MSN program provides a unique emphasis on whole-person wellness, social determinants of health and health equity, interprofessional collaboration, and advocacy and systems change. St. Thomas seeks to help serve the health needs of diverse populations in urban and rural areas by training culturally responsive nurses who proactively improve whole-person healing.

Our Vision

The Susan S. Morrison School of Nursing prepares highly skilled professional nurses who are culturally responsive, practice clinical excellence with ingenuity, and proactively improve whole-person healing to advance health equity and social justice.

Our Mission

Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas Susan S. Morrison School of Nursing embraces academic excellence through fostering a caring culture during students’ preparation for entry into professional Registered Nurse practice. Our graduates will partner with others, serving as culturally responsive leaders who value intellectual inquiry to act wisely in the provision of ethical and compassionate whole-person and whole-community care that promotes human flourishing. They will provide this care with ingenuity, dignity, and respect for diverse populations to advance health equity and social justice.

Contact

Hiyana Yang

Program Manager
Phone Number
(651) 962-7800

Program Overview

  • Entry-Level MSN for Non-Nurses
  • Opportunities and Requirements
  • Prerequisites
  • Course Requirements
  • 21-Month Plan
  • Degree Awarded
  • Program Outcomes
  • Financial Aid
  • Entry-Level MSN for Non-Nurses

    The pre-licensure MSN program is designed for non-nurses (with a bachelor's degree in something other than nursing) who wish to gain entry into the nursing profession. The MSN focuses on clinical excellence and ingenuity and prepares students to sit for the NCLEX-RN® licensure exam by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Students graduating with an MSN will be able to provide nursing care across the continuum of care and transition to some practice roles (e.g. nursing leadership) without returning to school for a graduate degree.

    Opportunities and Requirements

    The master's program features higher-level learning opportunities and requirements, including:

    • Interprofessional core courses focusing on whole-person wellness, social determinants of health and health equity, health care advocacy and systems change, resulting in the production of a social ingenuity e-folio
    • Foundations of Nursing Practice course that is part of the professional nursing sequence
    • Program and course outcomes reflecting higher-level learning domains
    • Additional learning resources, reflecting higher-level learning requirements
    • Holistic review of applications, which requires MSN applicants to submit materials reflecting higher-order thinking

    Prerequisites

    Requirements

    • Baccalaureate degree: A completed bachelor’s degree or graduate degree from an institution that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting organizations (e.g. Higher Learning Commission).
    • Grade point average (GPA): A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in the six prerequisite courses is strongly preferred, with a grade of C- or higher in each prerequisite.
    • Successful completion of the American Heart Association Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider course (must be completed before starting the MSN program)

    Prerequisites

    At the time of application, four of the six prerequisites must be completed while two may be in process. All prerequisite courses must be completed before nursing classes begin.

    Nursing entry-level prerequisite requirements:

    • Human Anatomy and Physiology I with lab
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology II with lab
    • Microbiology with lab
    • Lifespan development psychology
    • Chemistry with lab
    • Statistics

    Prerequisite courses must have been acquired within the last seven to 10 years.

    If you have questions about your prerequisite courses and want us to evaluate if they meet our requirements, follow the link below to submit your unofficial transcripts and course syllabi.

    Course Requirements

    The program is 20 months long, consisting of 56 total credits. The program will prepare you to use systematic assessment skills and diagnostics to prioritize health needs, implement professional nursing care for the whole person, and evaluate nursing interventions. You'll develop skills working as part of a collaborative, interprofessional team to formulate innovative, evidence-based solutions that optimize health outcomes and move the nursing profession forward. And throughout the program, you'll look at the nursing profession through a lens of social justice and health equity to ground your work in the dignity of each person.

    Course Catalog

    21-Month Plan

    The MSN program follows a cohort model, in which you will take pre-determined nursing courses with the same group of peers, allowing you to build a close network during your time at St. Thomas. Those who are admitted to the program with outstanding pre-requisites will complete their pre-requisites before beginning their first fall semester.

    SAMPLE 21-MONTH PLAN (PDF)

    Degree Awarded

    Students who complete the program will receive a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

    Program Outcomes

    1. Synthesizes knowledge from liberal education for the provision of professional nursing care for the whole person and whole community.
    2. Creates person-centered plans of care through therapeutic relationship, respect, holistic assessment, prioritization, intervention, and evaluation to achieve dignified health outcomes.
    3. Advances the common good through ethical, moral and socially just nursing care for people and populations through health promotion, disease prevention, and emancipatory praxis.
    4. Integrates clinical judgment, scholarship, and evidence-based nursing practice in the provision of care within complex systems.
    5. Leads through ingenuity, innovation, and multiple ways of knowing to proactively and continuously improve quality and safety in nursing practice and health care systems.
    6. Facilitates interprofessional teamwork that values similarities and differences to enhance and strengthen health outcomes.
    7. Manages information and communication technologies and informatics processes to provide quality nursing care.
    8. Creates change through advocacy, professionalism and leadership skills within complex systems to address quality improvement, patient safety, and healthy workplace culture in the practice setting.

    Financial Aid

    The University of St. Thomas offers a variety of resources for financial aid. Explore our opportunities for graduate students.
    Learn More about Graduate Admissions and Aid

    Entry-Level MSN for Non-Nurses

    The pre-licensure MSN program is designed for non-nurses (with a bachelor's degree in something other than nursing) who wish to gain entry into the nursing profession. The MSN focuses on clinical excellence and ingenuity and prepares students to sit for the NCLEX-RN® licensure exam by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. Students graduating with an MSN will be able to provide nursing care across the continuum of care and transition to some practice roles (e.g. nursing leadership) without returning to school for a graduate degree.

    Opportunities and Requirements

    The master's program features higher-level learning opportunities and requirements, including:

    • Interprofessional core courses focusing on whole-person wellness, social determinants of health and health equity, health care advocacy and systems change, resulting in the production of a social ingenuity e-folio
    • Foundations of Nursing Practice course that is part of the professional nursing sequence
    • Program and course outcomes reflecting higher-level learning domains
    • Additional learning resources, reflecting higher-level learning requirements
    • Holistic review of applications, which requires MSN applicants to submit materials reflecting higher-order thinking

    Prerequisites

    Requirements

    • Baccalaureate degree: A completed bachelor’s degree or graduate degree from an institution that is accredited by one of the regional accrediting organizations (e.g. Higher Learning Commission).
    • Grade point average (GPA): A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in the six prerequisite courses is strongly preferred, with a grade of C- or higher in each prerequisite.
    • Successful completion of the American Heart Association Basic Life Support Healthcare Provider course (must be completed before starting the MSN program)

    Prerequisites

    At the time of application, four of the six prerequisites must be completed while two may be in process. All prerequisite courses must be completed before nursing classes begin.

    Nursing entry-level prerequisite requirements:

    • Human Anatomy and Physiology I with lab
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology II with lab
    • Microbiology with lab
    • Lifespan development psychology
    • Chemistry with lab
    • Statistics

    Prerequisite courses must have been acquired within the last seven to 10 years.

    If you have questions about your prerequisite courses and want us to evaluate if they meet our requirements, follow the link below to submit your unofficial transcripts and course syllabi.

    Course Requirements

    The program is 20 months long, consisting of 56 total credits. The program will prepare you to use systematic assessment skills and diagnostics to prioritize health needs, implement professional nursing care for the whole person, and evaluate nursing interventions. You'll develop skills working as part of a collaborative, interprofessional team to formulate innovative, evidence-based solutions that optimize health outcomes and move the nursing profession forward. And throughout the program, you'll look at the nursing profession through a lens of social justice and health equity to ground your work in the dignity of each person.

    Course Catalog

    21-Month Plan

    The MSN program follows a cohort model, in which you will take pre-determined nursing courses with the same group of peers, allowing you to build a close network during your time at St. Thomas. Those who are admitted to the program with outstanding pre-requisites will complete their pre-requisites before beginning their first fall semester.

    SAMPLE 21-MONTH PLAN (PDF)

    Degree Awarded

    Students who complete the program will receive a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

    Program Outcomes

    1. Synthesizes knowledge from liberal education for the provision of professional nursing care for the whole person and whole community.
    2. Creates person-centered plans of care through therapeutic relationship, respect, holistic assessment, prioritization, intervention, and evaluation to achieve dignified health outcomes.
    3. Advances the common good through ethical, moral and socially just nursing care for people and populations through health promotion, disease prevention, and emancipatory praxis.
    4. Integrates clinical judgment, scholarship, and evidence-based nursing practice in the provision of care within complex systems.
    5. Leads through ingenuity, innovation, and multiple ways of knowing to proactively and continuously improve quality and safety in nursing practice and health care systems.
    6. Facilitates interprofessional teamwork that values similarities and differences to enhance and strengthen health outcomes.
    7. Manages information and communication technologies and informatics processes to provide quality nursing care.
    8. Creates change through advocacy, professionalism and leadership skills within complex systems to address quality improvement, patient safety, and healthy workplace culture in the practice setting.

    Financial Aid

    The University of St. Thomas offers a variety of resources for financial aid. Explore our opportunities for graduate students.
    Learn More about Graduate Admissions and Aid
    A man wearing St. Thomas nursing scrubs

    Gain Skills and Build Knowledge

    Clinical Placement Opportunities

    You will complete clinical placement to gain real-world experience in areas of nursing practice such as health promotion, acute care, pediatrics, obstetrics, public health, and psychiatric/mental health. Our clinical placement specialist coordinates placements in these important areas of practice. You will be placed at clinical sites based on clinical partner needs, capacity, and the needs of the program.

    Female hockey players celebrate on the rink after a goal

    Excelling on the rink and in the lab

    Graduate nursing student-athlete

    Allie Monrean pursues her twin passions for nursing and hockey as a D-I graduate student-athlete at St. Thomas.

    Allie's Story

    Meet the Executive Director

    Dr. Annette Hines headshot

    Dr. Annette Hines

    Dr. Annette Hines brings over 40 years of nursing experience to St. Thomas. Before joining St. Thomas, she served as a faculty member with Queens University of Charlotte. She was also a nurse scientist at Novant Health, served as chair for graduate studies for five years and as director of the Presbyterian School of Nursing for five years. Her research interests include health promotion in families with a child with chronic illness, asthma as a health disparity, and teaching strategies in classroom and clinical settings.

    Meet Dr. Hines

    Featured Nursing Faculty

    Meet some of our amazing nursing instructors or browse all nursing faculty.

    Dr. Anna Pirsch
    Visiting Assistant Professor
    Heather Anderson
    Assistant Director of Nursing Simulation Education
    Dr. Lindsay Schipper
    Clinical Faculty
    Dr. Anna Pirsch headshot headshot of Heather Anderson headshot of Lindsay Schipper

    Dr. Anna Pirsch

    Dr. Pirsch completed her PhD in nursing from the University of Minnesota, and her dissertation focused on critical consciousness in public health nurses. Dr. Pirsch’s practice specialty is public health nursing and psychiatric/mental health.

    Meet Dr. Pirsch

    Heather Anderson

    Heather Anderson is our assistant director of nursing simulation education. She joined St. Thomas from HealthPartners Clinical Simulation at the HealthPartners Institute in St. Paul, where she served as Lead Simulation Education Specialist. In this role, she was responsible for the coordination, development, facilitation, and evaluation of simulation activities. She also has experience as a critical care nurse, medical/surgical nurse, and adjunct nursing faculty member.
    Meet Heather Anderson

    Dr. Lindsay Schipper Assistant Professor

    Dr. Lindsay Schipper is a Registered Nurse who brings 20 years of nursing experience to her role, including in-home and hospice care at Fairview Lakes Homecaring and Hospice, as well as pediatric nursing at Children's Minnesota.
    Meet Lindsay Schipper

    School of Nursing Staff

    Annie Ahlijah

    Clinical Placement Specialist
    annie.ahlijah@stthomas.edu

    Jessica Nelson

    Student Success Director
    jessica.nelson@stthomas.edu

    Suzanne Nelson

    Simulation Education Specialist
    rose0131@stthomas.edu

    Angie Wollan

    Coordinator II
    woll1280@stthomas.edu

    Upcoming Events

    Licensure and Accreditation

    The master's degree program in nursing at the University of St. Thomas is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (http://www.ccneaccreditation.org). The program is also approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing and meets the educational requirements for licensure in Minnesota. The program has not determined that its curriculum meets requirements for licensure outside of the state of Minnesota.

    Technical Standards

    Technical standards (see below) are required abilities for effective performance in the Susan S. Morrison School of Nursing. The standards are compatible with the scope of practice for which nursing students will seek licensure as defined by the Minnesota State Board of Nursing; Nurse Practice Act: 148.171, Subd. 15. The examples show how a standard may be applied in entry-level nursing education programs. The examples listed are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to be a complete list of all tasks required in an entry-level nursing program.

    These technical standards are essential program requirements, and School of Nursing students must demonstrate that they can meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodations, throughout their time in the program. Reasonable accommodations to meet standards may be available for otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities. Contact the office of Disability Resources as soon as possible for more information if you think you may need an accommodation for a disability.

    Email: disabilityresources@stthomas.edu
    Phone: (651) 962-6315

    • Observe and assess a patient accurately, through visual, auditory and tactile abilities
    • Ability to monitor and assess health needs
      • Examples (not all inclusive):
        • Interpret and respond to monitors, alarms, emergency signals and cries for help
        • Interpret and differentiate heart, lung and bowel sounds
    • Observation and assessment necessary in nursing care, both at a distance and close at hand.

    Examples (not all inclusive):

    • Observe patient responses
    • Observe small calibration markings and numbers (e.g., on syringes)
    • Assess color change in skin and fluids

    • Possess psychomotor skills necessary to provide holistic and safe nursing care and perform or assist with procedures, treatments, and medication administration
    • Operate equipment typically found in the health care environment (IV pumps, cardiac monitor, and electric blood pressure equipment, safe patient handling equipment, etc.)
    • Practice in a safe manner and appropriately provide care in emergencies and life support procedures and perform universal precautions against contamination

    Examples (not all inclusive):

    • Maintain sterile technique
    • Transfer and position patients
    • Position and re-position self around patients in their room or other workspaces
    • Perform assessment and therapeutic procedures such as inspection, palpation, percussion, auscultation, and other diagnostic maneuvers and procedures

    • Communicate effectively and sensitively with patients and families
    • Communicate effectively with faculty, preceptors, and all members of the healthcare team during practicum and other learning experiences
    • Accurately elicit information including a medical history and other information to adequately and effectively evaluate a client or patient’s condition

    Examples (not all inclusive):

    • Concisely and accurately explains treatments and procedures as well as other health education
    • Documents clearly and concisely, within legal guidelines

    • Use and apply information acquired from various sources, including written documents and computer systems (e.g., lectures, demonstrations, written documents, literature searches and data retrieval)
    • Identify and interpret information presented in images from paper, slides, videos, and screens that are presented in various formats
    • Recognize and assess client changes in mood, activity, cognition, verbal, and non-verbal communication
    • Use and interpret information from assessment techniques/maneuvers
    • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize data related to patient diagnosis and treatment of patients
    • Exercise proper judgment and complete nursing responsibilities in a timely and accurate manner.
      Synthesize information, problem solve, and think critically to judge the most appropriate theory or assessment strategy
    • Ask for help when needed and make proper judgments of when a nursing task can or cannot be carried out alone
    • Exhibit a level of consciousness and attentiveness that guarantees patient safety
    • Expeditiously incorporate data from multiple patient sources (e.g., physical assessment, vital signs, lab values, interdisciplinary documentation) in providing appropriate, safe patient care

    Examples (not all inclusive):

    • Identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations
    • Recognize and respond rapidly and safely to changes in patient status based on a variety of sources such as physical assessment and pertinent laboratory findings
    • Revise care to promote appropriate patient outcomes
    • Access electronic health records using health agency-approved device
    • Safely monitor and respond to alarms, emergency signals, cries for help, heart, lung, and bowel sounds
    • Assess respiratory and cardiac function, blood pressure, blood sugar, neurological status, etc.

    • Behave professionally and maintain mature, sensitive, effective relationships with clients/patients, families, students, faculty, staff, preceptors and other professionals under all circumstances
    • Exercise skills of diplomacy to advocate for patients in need
    • Able to function under stress and adapt to classroom and practice setting environments
    • Must be able to meet University of St. Thomas School of Nursing attendance requirements, including timeliness

    Examples (not all inclusive):

    • Arrives on time, prepared to fully participate
    • Manages work to meet deadlines
    • Student must be able and willing to examine their behavior when it interferes with productive individual or team relationships

    • Concern for others, integrity, accountability, interest, and motivation are necessary personal qualities
    • Demonstrate intent and desire to follow the ANA Standards of Care and Nursing Code of Ethics

    Examples (not all inclusive):

    • Is honest in all communications with others
    • Has a positive attitude to ensure teamwork
    • Maintains confidentiality