This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The program prepares nurses for a variety of leadership and practice roles in the health care system. The adult gerontology and family nurse practitioner primary care concentrations have been approved by the state boards of nursing and medicine in Virginia. The nursing administration concentration prepares nurses to be leaders in health care organizations. The nurse educator concentration prepares graduates for educational positions in health care organizations.



Applicants must meet the admission standards and application requirements specified in Graduate Admissions and must apply using the online Application for Graduate Admission. Applicants must be graduates of an accredited baccalaureate (BSN) program in nursing, except for the applicants to the RN-to-MSN program. In addition, applicants must have an active state-based/US license as a registered nurse (RN), a current CPR card, and documented work experience as an RN. The application process is competitive, and applications are considered for the fall and spring semesters. For application deadlines and detailed application requirements, refer to the CHHS Admissions website.  


Transfers Between Programs or Concentrations

Students may not transfer between programs or concentrations. If a student wishes to be considered for another nursing program or concentration, a completed application to that program or concentration must be submitted using the online Application for Graduate Admission. The applicant must have permission from their academic advisor before they will be allowed to initiate this process. Applicants will be considered for admission with all other applicants for that program or concentration, with no guarantee of acceptance. If accepted, more than half of the credits earned for the new degree must be taken after acceptance to the new nursing program or concentration.

Transfer of Credit

Students may transfer a maximum of 9 credits into the MSN program from other institutions or taken at Mason in non-degree status, including graduate courses offered through the CHHS Academic Outreach program. Transfer credit is subject to university policies found in AP 6.5.3 Transfer of Credit and college policies and must be approved by the program director and the dean/director of the School of Nursing. Students who enroll initially through non-degree studies or the Academic Outreach program should seek course advising through the School of Nursing and should submit their application to the MSN program in their first semester of study.

Special Requirements

Additional fees and expenses related to the nursing graduate program may include: laboratory fee, standardized testing and course materials, name pin, books, CPR certification, health forms, health insurance, immunizations, and criminal background check fees. All students must provide their own personal transportation to and from clinical agencies. For a summary of all current fees and estimated expenses, see the School of Nursing website.

All MSN students are required to obtain a health clearance and complete the immunizations required by George Mason University as listed in the Student Health Services section of the catalog. Additional health and immunization requirements are imposed by clinical agency partners. See the Graduate Program, School of Nursing website for the most current information. Students are not allowed into any clinical setting without the completed immunization series as prescribed by Mason’s School of Nursing. The School of Nursing will refuse admission or continued enrollment to any student who is unable to comply with these requirements. No student will attend practicum courses unless all the requirements for CPR, health exams, immunizations, and criminal background checks are met. Students must be in the process of completing a hepatitis B immunization series when they enroll for their first practicum course

All students must have CPR certification before entering their first course and maintain it through the remainder of the program. The American Heart Association Basic Life Support - Health Care Provider is required. Any cost incurred is the responsibility of the student.

All students must have current health insurance before entering the first practicum nursing course and maintain it through the remainder of the program. All students are required to have an active Mason e-mail account.

No student or faculty member will be discriminated against or denied admission to the nursing program for the sole reason that the student or faculty member has been exposed to, infected with, or diagnosed with HIV or HBV. All students are expected to practice Universal Precautions with all clients, and failure to do so will result in termination from the nursing major. In the event that a student is exposed to body fluids of a client during a clinical experience or practicum, procedures and appropriate reports are completed according to institutional and nursing policies. Information related to exposure or infection is confidential, and dissemination of such information is based on the need-to-know criteria that apply in health care situations. HIPAA and FERPA regulations apply. A complete and detailed HIV/HBV policy is available in the CHHS Office of Student Affairs.

MSN students are required to submit a copy of their current RN license prior to the first day of class and must maintain licensure throughout the academic program. 

Professional Conduct

All students in the School of Nursing are expected to adhere to the Professional Conduct Policy of the College of Health and Human Services.

Appeal Process

Although faculty members in the nursing program are generally the best judges of a student's professional performance, some students may feel that the faculty member's judgment is unfair. Students in the School of Nursing wishing to appeal a grade are expected to follow the Mason guidelines for grade appeals, found in AP 3.9 Grade Appeals.

Honor System and Code

The School of Nursing supports academic integrity and follows the standards and procedures as described in the University catalog and available online.

Academic Termination

Academic termination is governed by university policy described in AP.6.6.2 Academic Termination. Additionally, a failing grade of "F" in a practicum course may result in termination from the program. Any graduate course in which a student earns a C grade or below must be repeated.


Throughout the semester, students are assessed on how well they have met curricular outcomes. Consistent with the university, the MSN in Nursing program does not provide a D grade. Final grades for all MSN in Nursing courses are submitted to the university as letter grades.

Grade Quality Points Graduate Courses
A 4.00 Passing
B 3.00 Passing
C 2.00 Failing
F 0.00 Failing

A graduate course in which a grade of C or below is earned must be repeated to earn a grade of B or better, and a course may be repeated only once. Graduate students (both master’s and doctoral) may repeat no more than two courses in their total program of study. 


The master’s program in nursing requires 39 to 49 graduate credits. Of these, a 15-credit core consists of coursework in the theoretical and ethical foundations of nursing, nursing research and biostatistics, nursing informatics, and the organization of nursing and health care delivery systems. The remaining 24-34 credits are satisfied by completing one of the concentrations:

Nursing Administration Concentration24
Advanced Clinical Nursing Concentration27-30
Nurse Educator Concentration26
Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Concentration34
Family Nurse Practitioner Concentration34

Actual practicum course hours may exceed those listed in the catalog. Actual practicum hours will meet the requirements for certification purposes. Requirements in the catalog reflect the minimum number of credits or practicum hours.

Banner Code: HH-MSN-NURS

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 39-49

Students must complete all Level I courses and the requirements for one concentration.

MSN Level I Core Courses (Required of all students)

NURS 665Theoretical and Ethical Foundations Related to Nursing3
NURS 715Nursing Informatics Inquiry3
NURS 757Nursing Research and Biostatistics I3
NURS 758Nursing Research and Biostatistics II3
NURS 688Organization of Nursing and Health Care Delivery Systems3
Total Credits15

Concentration in Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care (AGNP)

Level II Courses Core
NURS 643Community-Oriented Primary Care3
NURS 713Decision Making and Pharmacologic Management in Practice3
NURS 714Health Assessment in Clinical Practice2
NURS 724Health Assessment Practicum1
NURS 761Pharmacotherapeutics3
NURS 769Physiology and Pathophysiology in Advanced Practice3
Required Courses
NURS 787Adult Gerontology Primary Care I2
NURS 786Adult Gerontology Primary Care Practicum I2
NURS 789Adult Gerontology Primary Care II3
NURS 788Adult Gerontology Primary Care Practicum II4
NURS 791Adult Gerontology Primary Care III4
NURS 790Adult Gerontology Primary Care Practicum III4
Total Credits34

Concentration in Advanced Clinical Nursing (NUAC)

Level II Courses Core
NURS 714Health Assessment in Clinical Practice2
NURS 724Health Assessment Practicum1
NURS 761Pharmacotherapeutics3
NURS 769Physiology and Pathophysiology in Advanced Practice3
Required Courses
NURS 773Clinical Applications of Theory in Advanced Clinical Nursing3
NURS 775Advanced Specialty Practice I3
NURS 776Development of Advanced Practice Nursing Role3
NURS 778Advanced Specialty Practice II3
Elective Courses
Select six credits of cognates in area of expertise 16
Total Credits27

Students may take NURS 740 Clinical Nurse Specialist Internship for 3 elective credits.

Clinical Nurse Specialist Emphasis

Students in the advanced clinical nursing concentration who opt for the clinical nurse specialist emphasis must accrue 500 clinical hours by completing NURS 740. The course may be repeated once if necessary to accrue 500 hours (for a total of 6 credits).

NURS 740Clinical Nurse Specialist Internship3

Concentration in Family Nurse Practitioner in Primary Care (FNUP)

Level II Courses Core
NURS 643Community-Oriented Primary Care3
NURS 713Decision Making and Pharmacologic Management in Practice3
NURS 714Health Assessment in Clinical Practice2
NURS 724Health Assessment Practicum1
NURS 761Pharmacotherapeutics3
NURS 769Physiology and Pathophysiology in Advanced Practice3
Required Courses
NURS 738Family Primary Care I2
NURS 742Family Primary Care Practicum I2
NURS 739Family Primary Care II4
NURS 744Family Primary Care Practicum II4
NURS 741Family Primary Care III3
NURS 749Family Primary Care Practicum III4
Total Credits34

Concentration in Nursing Administration (NUAD)

Required Courses
NURS 763Administrative Theory in Nursing3
NURS 765Practicum in Nursing Administration I3
NURS 766Administrative Strategies in Nursing3
NURS 768Practicum in Nursing Administration II3
Nursing Administration Support Courses
Financial Management:
NURS 654Nursing Administration Financial Management3
or HAP 703 Financial Management in Health Systems
Management/Organizational Theory:
HAP 621Organization Behavior and Healthcare Leadership3
Select six credits from Nursing or related discipline electives6
Total Credits24

Nurse Educator Concentration (NURE)

Level II Courses Core
NURS 714Health Assessment in Clinical Practice2
NURS 716Principles of Assessment and Evaluation in Nursing Education3
NURS 761Pharmacotherapeutics3
NURS 769Physiology and Pathophysiology in Advanced Practice3
Required Courses
NURS 726Perspectives in Nursing Education3
NURS 727Application of Nursing Education Principles to Curriculum and Program Development3
NURS 728Practicum and Seminar in Nursing Education I3
NURS 729Practicum and Seminar in Nursing Education II3
Elective Courses
Select three credits in Nursing or related disciplines.3
Total Credits26

RN-to-MSN Pathway

This pathway allows RNs who have completed the Mason Core requirements (as listed in the undergraduate RN-to-MSN Pathway described in the Nursing, BSN program) and have demonstrated substantial involvement in professional nursing within the past two years to earn the MSN degree. Students entering a concentration through this pathway must meet all the requirements for admission to that concentration.

In addition to fulfilling admission requirements for degree status at Mason, applicants must:

  1. Hold a current state-based/US license to practice nursing.
  2. Be graduates of an accredited nursing program.
  3. Have earned a 3.00 GPA in
    1. the nursing prerequisites,
    2. the nursing curriculum from the graduating institution, and
    3. Mason Core/general education courses at an accredited institution.
  4. Demonstrate involvement in professional nursing within the past two years as an RN in clinical practice.

Students in the RN-to-MSN pathway are required to take the following bridge course:

NURS 440Community Health and Epidemiology3

After completion of the bridge course, students choose one of the concentrations and meet all requirements of the graduate program.