Jun 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
2024-2025 Catalog

Nursing, M.S.N.

The College of Health and Human Services  graduate major in Nursing provides a master’s degree program for nurses who have a baccalaureate degree in nursing. The degree provides the opportunity to focus in three areas: as a clinical nurse specialist in adult/gerontological health; as a family nurse practitioner; or as a nurse executive.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

By the time the students in the Master of Science in Nursing complete their degree they will be able to:

  1. Integrate information from humanities and other disciplines as a basis for advanced nursing practice
  2. Demonstrate leadership abilities in all areas of nursing practice
  3. Create a culture of quality and improvement in health care delivery
  4. Compare nursing literature in translating research into practice
  5. Evaluate clinical and decision support information systems in the nursing service organization
  6. Develop familiarity in the legislative and policy processes
  7. Collaborate effectively across disciplines within a healthcare organization
  8. Display professional leadership skills exhibiting ethical, moral, and legal behavior
  9. Plan health promotion and illness prevention activities for patient care

Clinical Nurse Specialist

The Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult/Gerontological Health option prepares the advanced practice nurses to serve the health needs of adults/geriatric clients in a variety of settings. The graduate will be able to synthesize advanced knowledge of health-illness states of clients; integrate research-based problem solving and decision making in designing care for clients, families, and communities; use advanced therapeutic intervention skills in one’s clinical practice; and implement effective communication strategies in collective management of client care. The graduate will be prepared to assume the role of clinical specialist that reflects contemporary nursing practice standards. The graduate will also be prepared to apply for certification as a clinical nurse specialist in Adult/Gerontological Health. The program consists of core courses at the 6000-7000 level designed to provide the knowledge and skills required of any advance practice nurse. Specialty courses at the 8000 level provide preparation for role as clinical specialist in adult/Gerontological health.

Family Nurse Practitioner

The Family Nurse Practitioner option prepares the advanced practice nurse to serve the health needs of clients across the life span in a variety of primary care settings. The graduate will be able to synthesize theoretical and evidence-based clinical knowledge to provide professional comprehensive primary and specialty client care across the domains of client health and illness management; client-practitioner relationship; teaching and coaching; managing and negotiating health care delivery systems; monitoring and ensuring quality of health care practice, and culture competence. The graduate will be prepared to assume the role of Family Nurse Practitioner as reflected by contemporary advanced practice nursing standards. The graduate will also be prepared to apply for national certification examination as a Family Nurse Practitioner. The program consists of core courses at the 7000 level designed to provide the knowledge/skills required of any advanced practice nurse. Specialty courses at the 8000 level provide didactic and practicum preparation for the role as Family Nurse Practitioner.

The Family Nurse Practitioner Post-Masters Certificate  is an option for nurses already prepared at the advanced practice level who have a master’s degree. Admission to the Master of Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Program requires a cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher in all undergraduate courses. Program Policy states that all applicants in the MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner Program must have a GPA of 3.0 with all Sciences no more than 7 years old and completion of the Undergraduate courses - Health Assessment, Statistics, and Research.

Nursing Executive and Innovative Leadership

The Nursing Executive and Innovative Leadership option focuses on management of patient care services within complex health care organizations. This option focus provides skills that are essential for the effective nursing leader, such as decision making, strategic planning, risk management, finance, and human resources. Through the functional role of executive and innovative leadership the nurse directs and influences nursing practice, improves the delivery of health care, and contributes to the development of beneficial health policy using leadership, creativity, and collaboration. In this concentration general systems theory bring together knowledge from many disciplines which permit inference and the generation of new nursing modalities management of nursing sciences. Systematic examination of theories and concepts drawn from nursing management and healthcare management disciplines provides the basis for advanced nursing leadership.


The Master of Science in Nursing (Options: CNS, NEIL, FNP/PMC) program at Governors State University located at University Park, Illinois is accredited by the:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

3390 Peachtree Rd. NE
Suite 1400
Atlanta GA 30326
The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Master of Science in Nursing (Options: CNS, NEIL, FNP/PMC) program is:

Good Cause

View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program at: http://www.acenursing.us/accreditedprograms/programSearch.htm

Special Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting university admissions criteria, applicants must:

  1. have a baccalaureate degree with a major in Nursing from an accredited nursing program in a regionally-accredited college or university;
  2. have completed the following undergraduate courses or their equivalent: Nursing Research, Statistics, and Health Assessment;
  3. have a current and valid license as a registered professional nurse in the state of residence;
  4. have a cumulative GPA of 2.50 (3.0 for Family Nurse Practitioner) or higher in all undergraduate courses and a GPA of 3.0 or higher with a grade of “B” or better in all upper-division nursing courses. Applicants who do not meet the GPA requirements or who have graduated from non-graded baccalaureate programs will be conditionally admitted. A GPA of 3.0 must be maintained for the first nine hours of work completed. If a 3.0 GPA is not maintained, the student must petition the Nursing program for continued enrollment. Please address your formal request to continue enrollment to Dr. Nancy MacMullen, Chair, Department of Nursing, Governors State University, 1 University Parkway, University Park, IL 60484.

Applicants with degrees from countries other than the United States must have their international transcripts evaluated by a NACES (http://www.naces.org/members.html) approved agency, unless the applicant is affiliated with one of Governors State University’s recruiting agencies: INDUS or College Study US. If applicant is affiliated with a GSU recruiting agency, credentials will be evaluated by a GSU Foreign Credential Evaluator from the Office of International Services.

Applicants must assume all responsibility for fees associated with testing and evaluating. All required credentials must be on file in the Office of Admissions before an applicant can be admitted to the program.

Other Requirements

  1. Once accepted into the program, information regarding health and other program specific requirements will be sent to the student. These requirements must be met within the first term of enrollment.
  2. The Clinical Nurse Specialist option requires a minimum of 540 clinical hours that must be completed prior to graduation.
  3. The Nursing Executive & Innovative Leadership option require at the minimum, 135 clinical hours that must be completed prior to graduation.
  4. The Family Nurse Practitioner option and the Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate require 540 clinical hours that must be completed prior to graduation across the following settings:
    • 500 must be direct patient care.

    • The majority of the hours should be divided between pediatrics, adult/ geriatrics.

    • You must have a minimum of 65 hours of OB (prenatal care).

    • You must have a minimum of 65 hours of pediatrics-however if you have an opportunity do get more experience in this area, please do so. You can have a maximum of 135 pediatric hours. The intent is for you to have exposure to patients throughout the lifespan.

    • You are responsible for finding/identifying the clinical site and providing the information needed to secure a contract with the site. Clinical settings include Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and OB/Gyn. Acute care settings (hospitals) are not allowed.

    • Typhon Nurse Practitioner Student Tracking System and E-Value (Typhon-NPST) is the repository for maintaining all clinical data. Prior to your first two courses (NURS-8221  & NURS-8222 ) you must purchase Typhon-NPST. 

    • You must purchase malpractice insurance stating that the policy covers you as a Family Nurse Practitioner student with $1 million of liability for each occurrence and a minimum of $6 million per annual aggregate.

Admission to Candidacy

After admission as a degree-seeking student, a student must also apply for candidacy. Application for candidacy should be made with the approval of one’s academic advisor at the completion of all core nursing courses, at which time all candidacy requirements must be fulfilled. Admission to candidacy is required in order to enroll for additional nursing courses. To qualify for degree candidacy, a student must:

  1. meet all conditions of admission; and
  2. complete all core nursing courses specific to concentration: CNS and FNP - NURS-6145 , NURS-6150 , NURS-7180 , NURS-7181 , and NURS-7182 ; Nurse Executive - NURS-6145 , NURS-7182 NURS-8342 , NURS-8350 , HLAD-7101 , HLAD-7109 .

Degree Requirements

Students must meet all university requirements for a master’s degree. In addition, students must:

  1. pass, during the last term of the student’s program, a capstone project over the major area of study; and
  2. complete a minimum of 540 clinical hours for the CNS; minimum of 135 clinical hours for NEIL option; and 540 clinical hours for the FNP option;
  3. complete all clinical courses with a grade of “B”; and
  4. a student may repeat only one nursing course in which a grade of “C” or less is received without being academically dismissed from the program.

Required Courses Family Nurse Practitioner Option (44 Hours)


Students who have focused research interests or who intend to pursue doctoral study may wish to conduct formal thesis/project research. Students may begin in the sixth semester by registering for NURS-8900  for one hour. A minimum of three hours is required. More information about this option is available from the academic advisor.

Total Required - 42 - 44 Hours; Thesis Option Total = 45-47 Hours