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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.

In the Master of Science in Nursing from the University of St. Thomas program, 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 Master of Science in Nursing 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

Nate Gorr

Director of the Student Recruitment
headshot of Nate Gorr
Phone Number
(651) 962-4413

Program Overview

  • Entry-Level MSN for Non-Nurses
  • Opportunities and Requirements
  • Prerequisites
  • Course Requirements
  • 20-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.

    Submit Transcripts and 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

    20-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 20-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.

    Submit Transcripts and 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

    20-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 20-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
    Doctors teaching interns with a skeleton of a spine.

    Gain Skills and Build Knowledges

    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.

    Meet the Director

    Dr. Martha Scheckel headshot

    Dr. Martha Scheckel

    Dr. Martha Scheckel, PhD, RN, joined the University of St. Thomas from the College of Nursing, Health and Human Behavior at Viterbo University in Wisconsin, where she served as dean. She is a community and public health nursing expert who has provided academic leadership for mental health counseling, nursing, nutrition and dietetics, psychology, social work and criminal justice. She has been a registered nurse for more than 30 years, including 17 years of nursing practice experience predominantly in community and public health settings.

    Nursing Faculty

    Heather Anderson
    Clinical Faculty, Simulation Educator
    Dr. Raney Linck
    Assistant Professor
    Berline Pierre-Louis
    Clinical Faculty
    headshot of Heather Anderson Raney Linck headshot headshot of Berline Pierre Louis

    Heather Anderson

    Clinical faculty member Heather Anderson is our simulation educator. 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. Raney Linck

    Dr. Raney Linck is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing. He joined St. Thomas from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, where he served as clinical assistant professor in the Adult and Gerontological Health Cooperative. He has a background in critical care and hospice nursing.
    Meet Dr. Linck

    Berline Pierre-Louis

    Clinical faculty member Berline Pierre-Louis joined St. Thomas from Allina Health-United Hospital, where she served as an infection preventionist. She has tutored nursing students at the International Institute of Minnesota, and she has experience as a public health, neuroscience, psychiatric/mental health and population health nurse.

    Meet Berline Pierre-Louis

    School of Nursing Staff

    Melissa Degidio

    Simulation Operations Specialist
    degi8399@stthomas.edu 

    Jessica Nelson

    Student Success Director
    jessica.nelson@stthomas.edu 

    Dr. Victor Quiñones

    Nursing Clinical Placement Specialist
    victor.quinones@stthomas.edu 

    Russell Wäisänen

    Assistant Director for Nursing Operations
    rwaisanen@stthomas.edu 

    Angie Wollan

    Coordinator II
    woll1280@stthomas.edu

    Upcoming Events

    Licensure and Accreditation

    The MSN has received initial approval from the Minnesota Board of Nursing and will be granted continuing approval upon receiving initial accreditation by a national nursing accrediting body. The School of Nursing will seek accreditation for the MSN from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). St. Thomas is seeking to ensure that the first graduating class will graduate from a CCNE-accredited program. The program cannot make a determination that its curriculum meets requirements for licensure outside of the State of Minnesota until CCNE accreditation is awarded.