Jul 14, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing Major, MSN

The College of Nursing program is accredited by the Collegiate Commission on Nursing Education that may be contacted at One Dupont Circle NW, Ste 530, Washington, DC 20036-1120, 1-202-887-6791, and is unconditionally approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.

The purpose of the master’s program in nursing is to prepare leaders, managers, and practitioners who facilitate achievement of optimal health in the dynamic health care system. The program prepares advanced practice nurses for a career in adult-gerontology nursing, pediatric nursing, mental health nursing and nurse anesthesia, as well as role preparation as nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, or nurse administrators. Advanced practice nursing involves the delivery of care, management of resources, interdisciplinary collaboration, and application of technology, information systems, knowledge, and critical thinking.

Student Learning Outcomes - Graduates of the program are expected to:

  • Provide evidence-based advanced nursing care in a variety of health care settings to diverse populations, including individuals, families and communities. 
  • Utilize theoretical and ethical principles while accounting for patient values to guide advanced practice nursing. 
  • Collaborate in ethically responsible research activities. 
  • Participate, leading when appropriate, in evaluation of care outcomes using organizational science (e.g., health policy, quality improvement initiatives, informatics and economics). 
  • Assume roles as leaders and collaborators within inter/intra-professional teams and communities in advocating, planning, providing, and evaluating health care.
  • Contribute to culturally responsive healthcare services within systems that promote prevention, safety, quality and social justice leading to improved patient outcomes.
  • Articulate to a variety of audiences credible and relevant evidence supporting practice decisions using various forms of communication.


  • Submit online application to Graduate Admissions Office. Meet admission requirements of the Graduate School. 
  • Achieve competitive score on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination if undergraduate GPA is below 3.3. If undergraduate GPA is 3.3 or above, then applicants are exempt from the GRE requirement. 
  • Achieve a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper test or 80 on the Internet-based Test if native language is not English. 
  • Applicants for nurse anesthesia require an interview. 
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) from an accredited program.
    1. Hold or be eligible for licensure to practice nursing in Tennessee.
    2. Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4-point scale, or a GPA of 3.3 for courses in the undergraduate major.
    3. Have completed a health assessment course.
    4. Have completed 3 hours of graduate-level statistics. 
  • Application and admission dates vary. BSN graduates apply by February 1 for admission for the following fall term. Post-master’s applications must be received by October 1 for the following spring admission date.

Non-Degree Status

Only NURS 505  and NURS 511  are open to students in Non-Degree Status. Students not yet accepted into the master’s program must be advised by the Chair of the Master of Science in Nursing program prior to enrollment.

Special Requirements

  • Before enrollment in the master’s program, each student must successfully complete a criminal background check. 
  • Each student must hold personal professional liability insurance and health insurance. 
  • Each student must be eligible to practice nursing in Tennessee, i.e., licensed in Tennessee or one of the interstate compact states. 
  • Each student must present proof of hepatitis B vaccination and rubella and rubeola immunization or sufficient titer for immunity; TB status. 
  • Each student must present evidence of current health professionals CPR certification. 
  • For more detailed information about the application process, contact Master of Science in Nursing Program, The University of Tennessee College of Nursing, 1200 Volunteer Boulevard, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-4180; (865) 974-4151.

Thesis and Non-Thesis Options

The thesis option is available for interested students and is especially encouraged for those who are considering pursuit of doctoral degrees sometime in the future. Students who choose the non-thesis option must register for NURS 582 .

Program Requirements

Program Core Requirements (6 credit hours) Credit Hours
NURS 507 - Leadership and Change in Dynamic Systems   3
NURS 510 - Theoretical Foundations of Nursing 
Advanced Practice Core (9 credit hours) *  
NURS 504 - Advanced Health/Physical Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning   3
NURS 505 - Advanced Clinical Pharmacology   3
NURS 515 - Advanced Pathophysiology for Nursing Practice    
                  (not required for nurse anesthesia students or neonatal students) 3

* Not required for nursing administration concentration.

Research (6-9 credit hours) Credit Hours
NURS 501 Advanced Nursing Research   3
NURS 500 - Thesis  (thesis option) 6  
NURS 582 - Scholarly Inquiry  (non-thesis option) 3


Concentration (choose one) Credit Hours
NURS 574 , NURS 575 , NURS 576   Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist 15
NURS 529   Adult Health: Gerontology 5
NURS 544 , NURS 545 , NURS 546 , NURS 547 , NURS 548 , NURS 549   Clinical Nurse Anesthesia Practicum/Seminar I, II, III, IV, V, VI 40
NURS 550 , NURS 551 , NURS 527 , NURS 528 , NURS 562 , NURS 563   Pediatric Nursing 20
NURS 550 , NURS 551   Pediatric Nursing 4
NURS 560 , NURS 561 , NURS 519   Mental Health Nursing I, II 16
NURS 570 , NURS 571 , NURS 572 , NURS 573  Family Nurse Practitioner I, II, III 19
NURS 589 NURS 594 NURS 595 , NURS 590 , NURS 591   Nursing Administration I and II 21


Additional course requirements for nurse anesthesia students Credit Hours
NURS 506 - Advanced Anesthesia Pharmacology   3
NURS 516 - Advanced Pathophysiology: Anesthesia Implications in Neurological and Cardiovascular Conditions   2
NURS 517 - Advanced Pathophysiology: Anesthetic Implications in Respiratory and Renal Conditions   2
NURS 518 - Advanced Pathophysiology: Anesthesia Implications in Obstetrics and Pediatrics   2
NURS 523 - Advanced Principles of Nurse Anesthesia Practice   2
NURS 524 - Basic Principles of Anesthesia I   3
NURS 525 - Basic Principles of Anesthesia II   3
NURS 526 - Practice Issues: Nurse Anesthesia   2


Additional course requirement for Family Nurse Practitioner, Mental Health Nursing, and Pediatric Nursing concentrations
  NURS 512 - Practice Issues: Nurse Practitioner   1


Final Examination Requirements

All students must successfully complete a final examination as required by the Graduate Council. For thesis students, the examination will consist of an oral defense of the thesis as well as other written or oral questions designed to measure student mastery of the entire program of study. For non-thesis students, the written examination will cover the entire program of study and may, at the discretion of the student’s committee, be followed by an oral examination.

Special Policies

  • If the clinical performance of any student is characterized by unethical, unprofessional or unsafe behavior, or behavior that places the client in jeopardy, the student will be required to withdraw from the program. 
  • Students are expected to maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA; however, students must maintain a grade of B or better in clinical concentration courses and/or directed clinical practice. Graduate students are not permitted to repeat a course, repeat an exam or do additional work for the purpose of raising a grade already received. A student who receives a final grade below a B in a clinical concentration course will be dismissed from the program. A student whose cumulative GPA drops below a 3.0 as a result of earning grades of C in other courses will be placed on academic probation. A student will be allowed to continue in graduate study while on academic probation as long as each semester’s grade point average is 3.0 or better and the grade for clinical concentration work is at least 3.0.