Jun 21, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 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 offers role preparation as nurse anesthetists. 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.

Concentrations (Required) and Options Available

 Nurse Anesthesia — Thesis, Course Only with Comprehensive Exams

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Admissions to this program has been suspended. Pending program closure.
  • 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 3.30. If undergraduate GPA is 3.30 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.
    • Hold or be eligible for licensure to practice nursing in Tennessee.
    • Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.00 or higher on a 4-point scale, or a GPA of 3.30 for courses in the undergraduate major.
    • Have completed a health assessment course.
    • Have completed 3 credit 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.

Academic Standards

  • 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 3.00 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 3.00 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 3.00 or better and the grade for clinical concentration work is at least 3.00.
  • The College of Nursing prohibits students from repeating graduate coursework with two exceptions: NURS 505 (Advanced Clinical Pharmacology) and NURS 515 (Advanced Pathophysiology for Nursing Practice).
    • Students may only repeat these courses after earning a D or F; original and repeat grade will be included in the GPA.

The College of Nursing will observe the following grading scale:

A    =  92 – 100 4 quality points
B+  =  88 – 91 3.3 quality points
B    =  83 – 87 3 quality points
C+ =  78 – 82 2.3 quality points
C   =  75 – 77 2 quality points
D   =  67 – 74 1 quality point
F    =  66 or below 0 quality points

Credit Hours Required

Thesis Option: 31 to 64 graduate credit hours, depending upon concentration

Course Only with Comprehensive Exams: 30 to 61 graduate credit hours, depending upon concentration

Required Courses

  • Program Core Requirements (6 credit hours)
  • Advanced Practice Core (9 credit hours)
  • Research (6-9 credit hours)
    • Thesis Option Only: NURS 500  (minimum 6 credit hours)
    • Course Only with Comprehensive Exams Option Only: NURS 582  (3 credit hours)
  • Concentration Courses

Non-Course Requirements

  • All students must successfully complete a final examination as required by the Graduate Council.
    • Thesis Option: 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.
    • Course Only with Comprehensive Exams: 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.
  • 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.