Master of Science in Nursing

Campuses that Offer this Program: 
Austin Peay State University
East Tennessee State University
Middle Tennessee State University
Tennessee State University
Tennessee Technological University
The University of Memphis

Master of Science in Nursing Program Information


The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program is offered through a consortium of the six Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) universities: Austin Peay State University, East Tennessee State University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Technological University, and The University of Memphis.

The consortium is designed to increase student access to high-quality, affordable, student-centered graduate education in nursing, while addressing the critical need for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), nurse administrators, nurse educators, and nurse informaticists in Tennessee and across the nation. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree prepares you for work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, businesses, private practices, HMOs, schools and community centers. Some APNs have their own practices or work in collaboration with a physician. Whatever your goal, this program is your high-tech, affordable path to graduate education in Nursing.

Program Mission, Vision and Purpose

The mission of the Master of Science in Nursing program is to use technology to improve access to high-quality, affordable, student-centered graduate nursing education opportunities through cooperation with and among the six Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) universities. 

The vision of the program is a better life for Tennesseans through excellence in graduate nursing education.

The purposes of the Master of Science in Nursing program are to:

  • Increase access to graduate nursing education, especially for nurses aspiring to teach in entry-level nursing programs, manage professional practice work settings, and practice as advanced clinicians in a changing healthcare delivery system.
  • Maximize the effective use of technology for delivery of graduate-level instruction. Distance delivery through the use of technology will increase access to graduate education, especially in remote areas of the state and for practicing nurses for whom time flexibility is a critical resource.
  • Provide student access to web-based courses and degree programs. Web-based courses will reach populations not currently enrolled in graduate education, and will also permit students who are currently enrolled in on-campus courses to take additional courses, thus completing the program sooner.
  • Encourage and support collaboration among TBR institutions. Course development and delivery will be cost-effective because courses will be developed by one institution and used by all.

Program Accreditation

The Master of Science in Nursing program is fully accredited through fall 2019 by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).  The Commission can be reached at:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing  
3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 500
Atlanta, GA 30326
Telephone: 404-975-5000

The ACEN formal notification of approval can be viewed here. The MSN 2014-15 Academic Year Annual Report can be read at this link.  Contact the Director of Nursing and Allied Health should you require additional information regarding MSN RODP accreditation. 

Program Leadership

The Regents Online Degree Program Master of Science in Nursing program operates under the leadership and guidance of the RODP MSN Executive Committee. The committee is comprised of the Deans and Directors of Nursing for the six Tennessee Board of Regents universities (shown below) and the Director of Nursing and Allied Health at the Tennessee Board of Regents Online Campus Collaborative office.

Executive Committee Members

Dr. Patty Orr
Director, School of Nursing
Austin Peay State University (APSU)
Dr. Wendy Nehring
Dean, College of Nursing
East Tennessee State University (ETSU)
Dr. Jenny Sauls
Director, School of Nursing
Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU)
Dr. Kathy Martin
Dean, School of Nursing
Tennessee State University (TSU)*
Dr. Huey-Ming Tzeng
Dean, Whitson-Hester School of Nursing
Tennessee Technological University (TTU)
Dr. Lin Zhan
Dean, Loewenberg College of Nursing*
University of Memphis (UOM)
Dr. Doris Davenport
Director, Nursing and Allied Health
Regents Online Campus Collaborative (ROCC)
*Tennessee State University and the University of Memphis also offer on-ground MSN programs. To find out more about the TSU on-ground MSN program, visit the TSU Division of Nursing website at this link. To find out more about the University of Memphis on-ground MSN program, visit the UofM School of Nursing website at this link.

Program Concentration Areas

The program offers a flexible, 36- to 46-credit hour program leading to the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. The curriculum allows students to customize learning opportunities to fit their goals and needs in collaboration with faculty advisors. Students may pursue full-time or part-time study. All courses, with the exception of clinical rotations, are delivered in an online delivery format. 

Master's Program Concentrations areas are:

  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing Informatics - Until further notice, we are no longer accepting applications for this concentration due to a severe shortage of Nursing Informatics faculty.  No new students will be admitted in the Informatics concentration after Spring semester 2014. The other three concentrations offer rewarding career options for students interested in Master's degree programs.
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN to MSN  (for RNs with a Bachelor's degree in another field)
Dual concentrations are not permitted in the Master's degree program. Students with an earned Master's degree in Nursing who are interested in seeking certification in additional concentration areas are advised to pursue a Nursing Post Master's Certificate.

Post Master's Certificates in Nursing

The Post Master's Certificate program provides opportunities for students who already have a Master's degree in Nursing to gain specialized knowledge within the following areas. The number of credits required to complete the certificate program varies by major. Students must successfully complete the required courses in the chosen nursing major.


The RN to MSN program is for Associate Degree and Diploma graduates with a Bachelor's degree in another field.

Overall Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Master's program, graduates will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and competencies in advanced nursing practice, teaching (in the classroom and in clinical settings) and administration
  • Integrate specialized knowledge and theories from nursing and related disciplines into advanced nursing roles
  • Use research to validate and refine knowledge relevant to advanced nursing roles
  • Practice advanced nursing roles in collaborative relationships across disciplines and in partnership with communities (i.e., nursing education, nursing administration, nursing informatics and advanced clinical practice)
  • Manage the healthcare of clients within legal, ethical and professional standards
  • Improve the health of clients among diverse population groups
  • Promote positive changes in healthcare delivery, health policies and nursing practice

Overall Student Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are measurable statements that express what a student will know, do, or think at the end of the learning experience. They are consistent with standards of professional practice, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (ACCN) 2011 Master's Essentials of Master's Education in Nursing and MSN Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) which are shown above. The SLOs are developed and approved by faculty who are experts in their field and are reviewed annually to assess program effectiveness and guide programmatic improvements. Click here to review the current MSN Student Learning Outcomes

Program Design

The program is designed to offer didactic/theory courses online through all six universities and to coordinate clinical study in each student's home area when possible. The consortium model allows these universities to share their most valuable resources to enrich program offerings. Classes are taught by faculty from all six universities. Faculty members are recognized experts in their content area, regardless of institution of employment.

Full library services are available online from the Regents Virtual Library. The Virtual Library offers extensive full text databases and 100% of the library resources recommended for graduate nursing students. Students also have access to the libraries at the six participating universities.

Campus contacts, faculty advisors and Concentration Coordinators are available to assist students throughout their program of study. The MSN staff at the TBR central office is available to all applicants and students, regardless of home campus assignment.

 Admission Requirements

  1. An unencumbered license to practice as a Registered Nurse in Tennessee or the state in which the clinical assignments are completed*.
  2. An earned Bachelor's degree with an overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale*.
  3. Successful completion of a 3 semester hour or 4 quarter hour undergraduate level Statistics course.
  4. Graduate school TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score as required by your TBR university. Consult the graduate admission requirements at each campus for further details.

    TOEFL Score Requirements
    School TOEFL Paper-based score Internet-based score Computer-based score
    APSU > 500 or 61 or 173
    ETSU > 550 or 79 or 231
    MTSU > 525 or 71 or 195
    TSU > 500 or 61 or 173
    TTU > 500 n/a n/a
    UOM > 550 or n/a 210

*Applications will not be accepted prior to completion of the BSN and attainment of RN licensure.

Application Process

Application to the Master of Science in Nursing program is a two-step process and is outlined below.  

Application Process for Non-Tennessee Residents
Certain admission restrictions may apply to non-Tennessee residents. Please contact the School of Nursing at your preferred home campus prior to submitting your application to determine any restrictions that may apply for residents of your state. If you are unable to determine the status of your state restrictions, which may include eligibility to participate in clinical experiences and/or apply for advanced practice licensure, contact Jillette Battle at 615-366-3932 or

Step 1: Submit the Online Application
Complete the online application to the MSN degree program. Once the application is submitted, you will be notified by email that your application was received. Your information will then be forwarded to your chosen or assigned home school for review and further eligibility consideration. Applicants MUST wait for notification of eligibility and home campus assignment before applying to the Graduate Division of a participating university. Once you have been notified of your home campus assignment, you will not be permitted to request a home campus change.

Step 2: Apply to Home School Campus 
Once notified of eligibility, you may apply for admission to the graduate division of your home campus. Your application to the Master of Science in Nursing program is not final until you complete the admission process for your home school. All admission decisions are made by the home campus. If you are denied admission to your assigned home campus you may be permitted to apply to one other consortium institution. Please contact the MSN office for details. 

MSN RODP Initial Application

Home Campus Admissions Process

Once a home campus selection has been made, applicants must be accepted for admission to the graduate division and college/school of Nursing at the designated home campus. Final admission to the program is based on competitive selection from the pool of eligible applicants who meet the admission requirements from the designated home campus, as well as the admission standards for the Regents Online Degree Program. Notification of final admission status will come from the graduate division of the designated home campus. Following admission to the university, students may enroll in MSN RODP courses. Some schools will allow students to be admitted provisionally or conditionally. If you do not meet the requirements for regular admission, ask your home campus about seeking provisional or conditional admission status.



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© 2016, Regents Online Campus Collaborative

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