45 Credit Hours


CU's RN to MS Nursing program is designed to provide a state-of-the-art credential for nursing professionals aspiring to leadership roles.

It has been developed to reflect the increasing complexity of the healthcare environment to equip nursing professionals with 21st century competencies and skills. Our program draws on AACN’s Vision for Academic Nursing. As the executive summary notes: “... the complexity of healthcare delivery and patient/population health needs continue to grow, education preparation for the entry to professional nursing practice is expected to evolve to a generalist master’s degree at some point in the future ... master’s entry programs would provide education for strengthened competencies in organizational and systems thinking, quality improvement and safety, care coordination, interprofessional communication, and team-based care and leadership."

CU's MSN degree offers three tracks. The Generalist track requires the completion of 36 core credits and additional practicum electives. Students have the option of choosing the MSN Educator track and completing 6 Nurse Educator credits to earn the specialization. Students may also choose the Leadership and Management track and complete 9 Leadership Track Courses in addition to a 4 credit practicum.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Integrate nursing and related sciences into the delivery of advanced nursing care to diverse populations.
  • Apply the cultural rules of engagement designed to increase leadership communication, effectiveness, and collaboration in the healthcare environment
  • Analyze complex systems and groups through leadership skills, interdisciplinary teamwork, and intentional relationship awareness to enhance effectiveness and build resiliency
  • Evaluate quality and safety of personal professional practice as well as the organizational structures and processes in which he/she works using a variety of tools and measures to improve function
  • Integrate scholarship into practice through critical thinking and clinical reasoning to engage in full evidence-based practice application to solve problems and facilitate change
  • Evaluate patient care and communication technologies to enhance safety, quality, and the humanistic mandates of academic and healthcare environments
  • Articulate influence policy and advocate for strategies to improve education, health, and healthcare delivery
  • Integrate and apply patient-centered, culturally congruent concepts in planning, delivery, management, evaluation, and the teaching of evidence-informed prevention and population health with diverse groups across the lifespan

Admissions Requirements

  • GPA of 2.75 or higher
  • Active, unencumbered RN license
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended schools
  • Completed application with Carolina University

Degree Requirements

  • The maximum time limit to complete the program is four years or 150% of the credits, whichever the student reaches first.
  • A minimum of 22 credit hours must be completed at CU.
  • Up to 50% of the required credit hours can be transferred.
  • Graduation is contingent upon the completion of 45 hours of prescribed courses with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00.