MSN Pathways

If you would like to take your nursing career to the next level, SPU’s Master of Science in Nursing programs offer an unrivaled combination of clinical expertise, training, and hands-on experience to equip and prepare you. Whether you hold an associate degree in nursing, are a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in another field, or hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing, SPU offers a pathway for you to earn your MSN.


Clinical Leadership in Practice

As a Clinical Leadership in Practice (CLIP) student, you’ll work closely with faculty and community leaders to gain an array of experiences that will open career opportunities. This program will help you develop both excellent clinical capabilities and the leadership skills needed to successfully manage change and innovation in health care. With emphasis on quality, safety, and care coordination, the CLIP curriculum prepares you to lead in organizations, from the bedside to the boardroom.

Through specific coursework and internship experiences, you’ll be ready to provide innovative nursing care in current health care delivery systems. Classes focus on advancing nursing practice in a contemporary health care setting. CLIP is a generalist pathway that builds on your experience to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to keep pace with today’s practice environment.

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Courses and requirements

If you’re a practicing associate degree-prepared nurse, our ADN to MSN entry option allows you to seamlessly complete an MSN degree on a full- or part-time plan. If you have already earned an associate degree in nursing, you can enroll in this program. You must have a current nursing license and at least 18 months’ experience as a registered nurse. You’ll be required to take up to 57 credits to earn this degree. Completion takes nine quarters as a full-time student (PDF) and 13 quarters as a part-time student (PDF).

A CLIP entry option is also available if you’re a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing. You must have a current nursing license and at least 18 months’ experience as a registered nurse. You'll be required to take up to 51 credits to earn this degree. Completion takes nine quarters as a full-time student and 13 quarters as a part-time student.

SPU offers a third CLIP entry option if you’re an RN with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. You must have a current nursing license and at least 18 months’ experience as a registered nurse. You’ll be required to take up to 45 credits to earn this degree. Completion takes seven quarters as a full-time student and 11 quarters as a part-time student.

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Nurse Educator

When you enroll in the Nurse Educator pathway, you’ll develop skills and knowledge specific to nursing education. This pathway will teach you key strategies for leadership roles in clinical staff development, clinical education, and/or academic instruction. Coursework and clinical experiences provide individualized learning to enhance nursing education and consultation.

Courses and requirements

If you’re a practicing associate degree- or BSN-prepared nurse, or a registered nurse with a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing, and you desire to advance the nursing profession, develop nursing staff, and educate the next generation of nurses, the MSN Nurse Educator specialty pathway is for you. You must have a current nursing license and at least 18 months’ experience as a registered nurse. You’ll be required to take up to 60 credits to earn this degree. Completion takes seven to nine quarters as a full-time student (PDF) and 11 to 13 quarters as a part-time student (PDF).

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Clinical Nurse Specialist

Enrolling in the Clinical Nurse Specialist pathway will help you advance the practice role of a specific patient group or population focus. You'll further your clinical expertise within your area of focus. Coursework and clinical experiences provide individualized learning to refine collaborative skills and interaction with the health care team to improve the quality of patient care.

Courses and requirements

If you’re a practicing BSN-prepared nurse, and you are committed to improving clinical outcomes, advancing direct care through care coordination, evaluating quality indicators, and collaborating with the health care team, you may want to pursue the MSN Clinical Nurse Specialist pathway. You must have a current nursing license and at least 24 months’ experience as a registered nurse with a special population focus. You’ll be required to take up to 59 credits to earn this degree. Completion takes seven quarters as a full-time student (PDF) and 11 quarters on a part-time basis (PDF).

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Nurse Practitioner

If you aim to become an independent primary care provider, enroll in the Family Nurse Practitioner pathway or the Adult/Gerontology Nurse Practitioner pathway. These ARNP pathways will guide you to further your clinical expertise across the lifespan or in adult populations and practice as a responsible care provider. Coursework and clinical experiences provide individualized learning so you’ll develop proficiency as a primary care provider. Specialized knowledge and the art of delivering care are emphasized to meet practice standards and competencies.

Courses and requirements

If you’re a practicing BSN-prepared nurse and you are committed to providing direct care, the MSN Nurse Practitioner pathway will open doors to career options. You must have a current nursing license and at least 24 months’ experience as a registered nurse. You’ll be required to take up to 62 credits to earn this degree. Completion takes:

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See Your APRN Path

From what pathways  can you choose?

View an MSN pathways infographic.

Thinking of a DNP?

SPU will admit students into our new DNP program in Autumn 2017.

Lorie Wild

Why I Teach at SPU

Lorie Wild, Dean and Professor of Nursing

“I love teaching because it affords me the opportunity to keep learning with and from my students. At SPU, I have the freedom to work with students not only to help them gain knowledge but also to cultivate strength of character and professional identity. Our students give me great hope for the future.”

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