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Nursing, MS (MSN)

Master of Science in Nursing

The Master of Science in Nursing program at the University of Central Missouri was created to help you learn the area of study you are passionate about, while also meeting your needs as a working nurse.

We offer two distinct tracks:

  • MS Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • MS Nursing - Nurse Educator (NE)

Nursing is an intricate combination of art and science. Caring for human beings is performed with culturally competent and holistic care. At UCM, you will learn alongside other graduate students — and professors — who are equally passionate about human health and education.

Gain real-world nursing experience from practicing nurse practitioners and educators

The University of Central Missouri’s Master of Science in Nursing program provides a dynamic and unique learning experience. Our MS Nursing - Nurse Educator track is offered 100% online, while our MS Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner track is offered in a hybrid format — partially online and partially on campus in Lee’s Summit.

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100% AANP and ANCC pass rate

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Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs

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Top Online Nursing School Master's

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Best Online Nurse Practitioner Program

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2-year Master of Science in Nursing

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State-of-the-art simulation & skills labs


What you will study

In the University of Central Missouri’s Master of Science in Nursing degree program, you will have the option to choose from two tracks with a variety of specialties to advance your nursing career or become a better nurse practitioner or educator.

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

FNP graduate students in UCM’s Master of Nursing degree program will be able to complete practicum hours and gain experience in a full range of specialties, including women’s health, pediatrics, geriatrics and more. You will complete classes such as:

  • Organizational Leadership in Complex Health Systems
  • Health Care Policy and Advocacy
  • Pharmacology for Advanced Practice Nursing
  • Primary Care of Women
  • Primary Care of Pediatrics
  • Advanced Pathophysiology

Nurse Educator (NE)

Nursing Educator graduate students in UCM’s Master of Nursing degree program complete a teaching project, which will help you understand teaching and learning in academic or professional development settings. You’ll also study topics such as:

  • Teaching Theory in Nursing
  • Teaching Clinical Practice in Nursing
  • Designing Nursing Curriculum


Excellence in Nursing

  • #1 Most Affordable Online MSN Nurse Practitioner Program (Fortune, 2022-23)
  • A Best Online MSN Nurse Practitioner Program (Fortune, 2022-2023)
  • A Best Online Master's in Nursing Program (Fortune, 2022-2023)
  • A Best Online Master's in Nursing Program (U.S. News & World Report, 2021)
  • A Top Online Nursing School Master's Program (The Princeton Review, 2021)
  • A Best Online Nurse Practitioner Degree Program (Intelligent, 2021)


Unique learning opportunities in the MSN program

With the guidance of expert nursing faculty, you’ll gain both real-world and on-the-job experience in your specialty field of nursing.

  • Practicum hours: Master of Nursing FNP students work in local hospitals and clinics.
  • Teaching experience: If you’re in the NE track of UCM’s Master of Nursing program, you’ll complete a teaching project that applies theories to real-world health care settings to demonstrate the implications of teaching and learning in the nursing field.
  • Expert faculty: All MS in Nursing FNP faculty are practicing nurse practitioners with experience teaching both nursing theory and practical nursing tools. NE faculty in UCM’s Master of Nursing program have experience teaching in the field of nursing and an understanding of how nursing education will shape the next generation of nurses and nurse educators.
  • State-of-the-art facilities: Our simulation and skills labs provide technology and tools for hands-on practice and experience in your specialty area.


What can you do with an MSN Degree from UCM?

Graduates from the University of Central Missouri’s Master of Nursing degree program become family nurse practitioners, nurse educators, clinical nurse specialists and clinical educators.

A Master of Science in Nursing degree will open up opportunities in a high-demand field

Give yourself an edge in the nursing field with a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Career opportunities for MSN degree program graduates are expected to grow, with both nurse educator and family nurse practitioner jobs widely available.




Financial assistance options for your MSN degree

Recognized by LendEDU as a top-ranked university for low student debt, the University of Central Missouri offers many options for financing your education, including:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Work Study


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Take your degree further.

After you graduate, enhance your master’s degree in Nursing from UCM with the following:

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Make yourself more marketable.

Add on a graduate certificate in a specialty field of nursing to make yourself stand out in the competitive nursing profession.

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Explore programs related to the MSN.

Still deciding if the Family Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator programs are right for you? You may also be interested in the following grad programs at UCM:

Admission Policies


  1. Bachelor's degree with an upper division nursing major from a program accredited by the National League for Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. 
  2. Admission to Central Missouri’s graduate school. 
  3. When requested to do so by the School of Nursing, completion and submission of the Admission to Graduate Nursing Program application.
  4. A minimum of one year of experience as a registered nurse for students choosing the Family Nurse Practitioner emphasis area. Students for whom an exception is made will be advised to take core courses the first year of study and to work to meet the experience requirement.
  5. Undergraduate minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale.
  6. Licensed as a registered nurse in good standing. Once your application is provisionally accepted, the department will access NCSBN ( to verify your RN License. FNP students must be licensed as a registered nurse in the state of Missouri or have a compact license. You must be licensed in the state where you attend clinical (Kansas or Missouri ONLY); or hold a compact license..
  7. Family Nurse Practitioner students must complete practica for clinical courses in the state of Missouri or the greater Kansas City area.
  8. When requested to do so by the School of Nursing, completion and submission of a Criminal Background Check.
  9. When requested to do so by the School of Nursing, completion and submission of the Required Immunization Documentation.   
  10. Computer or computer access with hardware compatible with Central Missouri’s program software. Basic computer skills are required prior to matriculation.

Consideration of Application

Completed applications to the Nurse Educator concentration will be considered by the School of Nursing on a space-available basis throughout the year. Students applying for the Nurse Educator concentration may take graduate courses in nursing prior to official admission to the graduate nursing program.

Admission to the Family Nurse Practitioner concentrations is competitive based on one’s undergraduate cumulative grade point average. The online application form must be received by the School of Nursing by September 15 for consideration for admission to the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration for spring semester and by February 15 for consideration for admission to the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration for summer or fall semester.

Alumni of UCMO’s nursing program will receive a preference in admission consideration. Students applying for the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration may not take graduate classes in nursing prior to official admission to the graduate nursing program.

Notification of Status

Admission to the School of Nursing may be approved, deferred, or rejected. If admission is approved, the applicant will receive an email and additional acceptance forms that must be submitted to complete the admission to the graduate nursing program. Applicants whose admission is deferred or rejected will be notified by email.

Additional Admissions Requirements for International Applicants

International students provide a unique cultural and personal addition to Central Missouri.  They are encouraged to apply early in the academic year prior to the year they wish to attend Central Missouri to ensure time to complete the following additional requirements: 

  1. Evidence of adequate financial support for the duration of the program.
  2. A minimum score of 500 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) if English is not the primary language.
  3. A passing score on the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) examination.        

The CGFNS examination is a prerequisite for taking the Registered Nurse Licensing examination in the state of Missouri and for obtaining a nonimmigrant occupational preference visa (H-1A) from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service.  CGFNS offers a two-part certification program that includes a credentials review followed by a test of nursing and English language skills.  The CGFNS examination is given in March, August, and November.  Application materials may be requested from CGFNS, Attn: CP, 3600 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19014-2651 (Phone 215-349-8767).  The registration deadline for these exams is approximately four months prior to their administration.  Early application is therefore essential.  For further information contact the School of Nursing.

FT/PT Degree Status

Full-time and Part-time Degree Status

We strongly encourage part-time study.  A part-time graduate student is one enrolled in 6 or fewer semester hours of graduate credit during the fall and spring semesters and three or fewer semester hours during the summer session.  Students who wish to take more than part-time graduate hours need to request school permission to do so on a space-available basis.

Requirements for Progression

Requirements for Progression

Earning a D or an F in any graduate level course will result in administrative withdrawal from the nursing program at the end of the semester in which the grade was received. Any student desiring retention to the nursing program following failure of a nursing course must initiate the process with the instructor whose course was failed. Completion and filing of the "Request for Retention Form" is the responsibility of the student.

Graduate nursing students may repeat a nursing course only one time.

Students may make changes in their schedules during the drop/add periods of the fall, spring and summer semesters. A fee is charged by the university if changes are made after that period. If a student withdraws from a course after the drop/add period, the progress of the student at the time of withdrawal from the course will be indicated on the record as Withdrew Passing (WP) or Withdrew Failing (WF).

The School of Nursing reserves the right, and matriculation by the student is a concession of this right, to request the withdrawal of any student whose performance at any time does not comply with the Missouri State Board of Nursing Practice Act (February 2010) and the American Nurses' Association Guide to the Code of Ethics for Nurses (2008).

If a student for any reason wishes to withdraw from the program, notification should be made to the nursing Graduate Coordinator before the expected date of withdrawal. Students who have withdrawn from the program must apply for readmission according to regular admission policies.

Students who find it necessary to interrupt their programs of study should request in writing a leave of absence addressed to the nursing Graduate Coordinator. A maximum of one calendar year's leave may be granted; this will be counted toward the total time allowed to complete the program.

More Information

Health and Immunization Record

As a professional nurse, the graduate student is expected to maintain immunizations according to the departmental policy. The University of Central Missouri, School of Nursing Student Health Immunization Form, furnished by the School of Nursing, should be complete.

CPR Certification

Students must be trained and certified in adult and child cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) prior to enrollment in graduate courses requiring clinical experience.  Students must maintain re-certification throughout the program.

Non-Degree Students

Individuals may take graduate level courses as a non-degree student, provided they have a bachelor of science in nursing degree from a National League for Nursing (NLN) or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredited school. Non-degree students are admitted to individual classes by permission of the instructor on a space-available basis. To apply, applicants must send an official copy of all undergraduate nursing transcripts to the School of Nursing, along with a completed Application for Admission as a non-degree student. Students who also register for clinical courses must submit two letters of reference from their employer and evidence of licensure as a nurse in the state of Missouri.

All non-degree application requirements must be received by the deadline for the semester during which the course will be offered. If permission is granted by faculty, the student will be notified by the chair of the School of Nursing. (Non-degree students requesting a second course may make the request to the School of Nursing). Up to seven credits earned as a non-degree student are accepted for credit towards the MS degree if the applicant is later admitted to the master's program.

Transfer of Graduate Credits

Transfer credit will be given only for academic work completed within eight years before matriculation at Central Missouri. Such units are transferable only if the student has earned a minimum of 6 units of graduate credit at University of Central Missouri's School of Nursing. A student wishing to transfer course work should make a written request, and provide a syllabus or some other description of the course to his/her academic advisor. (See Central Missouri's Graduate Catalog for other policies related to the transfer of graduate credit).

Transfer to Another Graduate Nursing Emphasis Area

A change of graduate nursing emphasis area may be made, contingent upon approval of the faculty involved. Should a change be made, a student must meet all requirements of the new emphasis area.


The Graduate Program Coordinator will assign students to graduate faculty for advisement. The graduate faculty advisor assists the student in planning and implementing his/her course of study throughout the master's program.


All courses counting toward the master's degree must be taken for the following grades: A(4.0); B (3.0); C (2.0). Master's degree students with a GPA of less than 2.70 after completing 20 credits will be asked to withdraw from the program. An F (0.0) in any graduate level course will result in administrative withdrawal from the program at the end of the semester in which the grade is received. In case of illness or other nonacademic problems, it is the student's responsibility to negotiate with the professor for a U (uncompleted grade).


Graduation exercises are held twice a year, in May and December, when degrees are conferred and diplomas issued to students who have completed all requirements. Diplomas cannot be issued until they are approved by the Academic Council and Board of Governors. All graduates are encouraged to attend commencement exercises.


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