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Nursing M.S.N.

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The Master of Science in Nursing degrees at MTSU help address a critical shortage of Family Nurse Practitioners with high-quality, affordable, and time-efficient studies. Coursework is completed online, except for clinical rotations through approved preceptors (in the student's home area when possible). Family Nurse Practitioners deliver comprehensive primary health care services to all ages and help provide health care to underserved populations while Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners deliver holistic care to individuals, families or groups with acute or chronic mental health problems. Full-time or part-time study is available for both programs. These programs increases access to graduate education for practicing nurses who need time flexibility and for those in remote areas.

All programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. If you are already an MSN, you are eligible to earn the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Certificate.

Nursing Programs

  • Nursing - Advanced Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), M.S.N.
  • Nursing - Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), M.S.N.
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), Certificate

What We're Doing

Chris Queen

Nurse Practitioner credits MTSU for 'top-notch' education

MTSU’s reputation was a major deciding factor for Chris Queen, a nurse practitioner for the Pulmonary Group at St. Thomas Rutherford, when he decided to pursue his MSN/FNP degrees. “I decided to attend MTSU for my MSN/FNP because of its great reputation,” Queen said. “I have worked with many MTSU graduates over the years, and they are always very well prepared. I have always been impressed with the school and how well its graduates can go right to work and excel at their job.” Queen, who turned 50 years old a month after he graduated with his MSN, said, “Never let anyone tell you that you’re too old to go back to school. I gained a great education that has prepared me for working as an FNP in today’s job market. This education has allowed me to pursue the job I have been looking for, and I have no doubt that it will serve me well as I continue to progress in my experience as an NP.” Queen said he encourages anyone considering furthering their nursing career to strongly consider MTSU. “MTSU offers a top-notch education whether it be on-campus or online,” he said.

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The Master of Nursing programs helps train nurses who seek to practice as advanced clinicians, want to teach in entry-level nursing programs, or wish to manage professional practice workplaces. Graduates may work in a variety of settings including hospitals, nursing homes, businesses, private practices, HMOs, schools and community centers

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Fast Pace Urgent Care
  • Frist Group
  • Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Primary Care Hope Clinic
  • St. Thomas Hospital System
  • Stonecrest Medical Center
  • Take Care Clinic at Walgreen
  • Tennova Healthcare


MTSU’s School of Nursing offers the Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) degree n Advanced Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner, FNP or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP).

Deadline to be fully admitted to graduate studies at MTSU and to have required documents received by MTSU's School of Nursing:

  • October 1 — for Spring term admission
  • April 1 — for Fall term admission

MTSU is currently not accepting out-of-state applicants for the MSN program.

Recent information indicates that the varied requirements in these states is prohibitive, placing an undue financial and administrative burden on the University.  Since this situation is not likely to change in the near future, it is recommended that you seek an alternative institution for your graduate study plans.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS  tab above.

Other programs offered

The MTSU School of Nursing also offers selected graduate courses which may be transferred to programs offering the Master of Science in Nursing.


Undergraduates in the School of Nursing may pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) degree via a traditional four-year baccalaureate program, first as a pre-nursing major and then, after three semesters and acceptance to the upper division, as a nursing major.

Apply Now!

Nursing, Advanced Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), M.S.N.

Jenny Sauls, Director
(615) 904-8488

Academic Advisor for MSN Program
(615) 898-5252

Courses are offered each semester based on enrollment. All courses are taught in the online learning environment.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Family Nurse Practitioner requires

  1. residence in Tennessee;
  2. a current, unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse in Tennessee;
  3. a bachelor's degree in nursing with an overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (conditional admission will be considered with a 2.9 overall B.S.N. GPA);
  4. successful completion of a 3-semester-hour or 4-quarter-hour undergraduate level statistics course;
  5. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) if needed.

Application Procedures

Students are advised to contact the graduate program academic advisor in the School of Nursing before beginning the application process. Applications are due by October 1 for spring admission and April 1 for fall admission.

Applicant must

  1. submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
  2. submit official copies of transcripts including all universities attended;
  3. submit an updated vita or resume;
  4. submit a copy of R.N. license.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Nursing requires completion of a minimum of 42 semester hours.

Candidate must

  1. complete all graduate nursing courses with a B or better,
  2. maintain current documentation within the School of Nursing document storage account, and
  3. pass all specialty clinical courses.


Students must register for courses each term. Failure to register for any semester/term constitutes a lapse in the program of study requiring readmission to the program. See readmission requirements in the policy.

Students who do not plan to register for a particular term/semester must complete and submit an Interruption of Program (IOP) form to the MSN academic advisor before completing the current term. Failure to submit the IOP will result in the necessity for reapplication.

Students may wish to submit a Stop Out form to the College of Graduate Studies and will need to fill out a readmission application form (without being required to submit any additional materials) before enrolling for the next term/semester.  This will ensure that the College of Graduate Studies has all current student information and will trigger the process required for re-enrollment. 

Curriculum: Nursing, Advanced Practice: Family Nurse Practitioner

The following illustrates the course requirements.

Core (15 hours)

  • NURS 6010 - Theory and Evidence-Based Practice

    3credit hours

    Encourages nursing inquiry and scholarship by developing skills necessary for evidence-based practice and healthcare improvement. Focuses on the principles and processes of evidence-based practice and relationships between theory, research, quality improvement, and evidence-based practice.

  • NURS 6011 - Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Across the Life Span

    3credit hours

    Focuses on evidence-based guidelines used to promote health and prevent disease for diverse individuals, communities, and populations. Emphasis on health promotion, risk reduction, disease prevention, and disease detection.

  • NURS 6012 - Diversity and Caring for Special Populations

    3credit hours

    Focuses on identifying the needs of diverse and special populations across the lifespan. Content will include social determinants of health and care for individuals with unique healthcare needs. 

  • NURS 6013 - Ethics, Healthcare Policy, and Economics

    3credit hours

    Focuses on ethical principles, healthcare policy, and economics and the influence of these topics on providers, consumers, and the healthcare system. Explores moral and ethical principles of healthcare and the relationship to healthcare policy.

  • NURS 6014 - NP Role and Leadership in Health Care

    3credit hours

    Requires analysis of the advanced practice nurse role and its relationship to various dimensions of leadership. Principles of leadership and accountability provide foundation for integrating concepts such as systems thinking, quality improvement, and fiscal responsibility.

Concentration Courses (10 hours)


  • NURS 6110 - Advanced Health Assessment

    4credit hours

    Acquisition and application of advanced health assessment skills and techniques to perform focused and comprehensive health assessments across the lifespan. Analysis and evaluation of physical assessment findings and development of diagnostic reasoning skills.

  • NURS 6111 - Advanced Pathophysiology

    3credit hours

    Focuses on application of pathophysiologic processes common in acute and chronic illnesses in primary care patients across the lifespan. Integrates theoretical knowledge and clinical principles from nursing and related disciplines to disease processes. 

  • NURS 6112 - Advanced Pharmacology

    3credit hours

    Focuses on pharmacology and therapeutics used in the treatment of selected health conditions commonly encountered by the advanced practice nurse. Emphasis placed on the decision-making process utilized to safely and effectively prescribe and monitor pharmacotherapeutics appropriate to the client situation.

Family Nurse Practitioner Courses (12 hours)

  • NURS 6210 - Family Healthcare Diagnosis and Management I and Clinical

    6credit hours

    Focuses on advanced practice nursing diagnosis and management of healthcare problems common to individuals and families. Emphasis on core concepts of diagnosis and management of common acute and chronic conditions in primary care settings.

  • NURS 6211 - Family Healthcare Diagnosis and Management II and Clinical

    6credit hours

    Focuses on the continuing development of the advanced practice nurse. Emphasis placed on increasing competency in the development and evaluation of comprehensive, collaborative, and evidence-based plans of care for complex and multisystem disorders.

Specialty Intensive (5 hours)

  • NURS 6213 - Family Healthcare Diagnosis and Management Intensive Clinical

    5credit hours

    Final synthesis of advanced practice nursing. Comprehensive and emphasizes autonomous practice and the professional role and responsibilities of the entry-level family nurse practitioner. Students prepared for national certification and credentialing. 

Withdrawal from a Course

Only two (2) instances of course withdrawal are permitted without consequences in the M.S.N. program. Withdrawal from one or more courses in any given semester is considered one (1) instance of withdrawal. Students with more than two (2) withdrawals from the M.S.N. program will not be readmitted to the program.

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

Mission and Goals

The mission of the Middle Tennessee State University School of Nursing is to provide excellence in nursing education by preparing individuals to meet the dynamic and complex health care needs of society. Through robust academic programs, the School of Nursing demonstrates its commitment to the art and science of nursing. This mission is exemplified in the preparation of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses in the areas of Family Practice (FNP) and Psychiatric Mental Health (PMH) at MTSU. 

The graduate of an FNP program is prepared to care for individuals and families across the lifespan. The FNP role includes preventative healthcare, as well as the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of acute and chronic illness and preventative health care for individuals and families. Family nurse practitioners demonstrate a commitment to family-centered care and understand the relevance of the family's identified community in the delivery of family-centered care (NONPF, 2013). Graduates of the MTSU FNP program are prepared to sit for national certification as FNPs. 

The graduate of a PMHNP program is prepared to care for individuals and families across the lifespan who are at risk for developing and/or having a diagnosis of psychiatric disorders or mental health problems. The PHMNP provides primary mental health care to patients seeking mental health services in a wide range of settings. This includes assessment, diagnosis, and management of mental health and psychiatric disorders (NONPF, 2013). Graduates of the MTSU PMHNP and the PMHNP-PMC are prepared to sit for national certification as PMHNPs. 

Specific content and competencies must be addressed as part of your NP education. These areas are interrelated. Additionally, students at MTSU must meet program outcomes that are based on The Essentials of Master's Education. 

  • Program Outcome 1: Demonstrate synthesis and application of knowledge from nursing and related disciplines as the basis for clinical judgment and nursing practice to improve care delivery and health outcomes across populations. 
  • Program Outcome 2: Apply knowledge of organizational and leadership theories within the systems of healthcare using ethical principles to improve outcomes, manage risks, and provide cost-effective care. 
  • Program Outcome 3: Engage in self-reflection that fosters personal well-being, commitment to lifelong learning, nursing expertise, and leadership. 
  • Program Outcome 4: Utilize principles of safety science and quality to improve care delivery, and to create a culture of patient, provider, and workplace safety. 
  • Program Outcome 5: Generate, synthesize, translate, apply, and disseminate knowledge to improve health outcomes, resolve practice problems, and transform health care. 
  • Program Outcome 6: Use appropriate technologies to enhance health care services and improve health outcomes. 
  • Program Outcome 7: Develop and promote a professional identity that reflects nursing characteristics, norms, and values while adhering to ethical principles to carry out professional responsibilities. 
  • Program Outcome 8: Collaborate effectively across professions, with patients and families, and within communities to enhance care, improve outcomes, and reduce costs. 
  • Program Outcome 9: Identify and engage partners at local, community, regional, and global levels to support and improve population health outcomes consistent with epidemiologic, genetic, and genomic data to design evidence-based approaches. 
  • Program Outcome 10: Provide person-centered evidence-based holistic care through continuous evaluation of interventions to improve care delivery and health care outcomes. 

Additional Information

The master’s degree program in nursing at Middle Tennessee State University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (


All programs are approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing. | 665 Mainstream Drive,  2nd Floor | Nashville, TN 37243

Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance

This program is available fully online.

For More Information or Explore Your Options​

Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program OR work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.

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The Online Advantage​

With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person. ​

Resources and services for online students are available from MTSU Online or contact us at

Contact Information

Cathy Cooper

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Mailing Address

School of Nursing
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 81 
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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