The Registered Nurse to Master of Science Nursing (RN to MSN) is a CCNE-accredited, online RN to MSN program ideal for nurses who intend to work in the nursing field for a decade or longer. Experienced nurses who hold their registered nurse licenses (and RNs who hold bachelor’s degrees in other fields) can apply their associate degree toward the MSN without having to first earn a BSN.
To complete the RN to MSN degree, distance education nursing students must complete 18 baccalaureate-level nursing credit hours and transfer in or complete 30 hours of general education, maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.0. Then, they complete 36 graduate credit hours.
American Sentinel’s RN to MSN online program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
American Sentinel online RN to MSN program students can further define their education by focusing on one of five relevant areas. All MSN students must choose one of five specializations:
The curriculum of the RN to MSN online program is based on contemporary issues in health care today. Nurses study the improvement of health care, creating quality patient outcomes and how to foster strategic change in the health care delivery system. Embedded in the American Sentinel nursing curriculum is an emphasis on quality of care as guided by nursing-sensitive indicators.
In 2009, American Sentinel voluntarily adopted the competencies defined by the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) project (funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) as an integral part of all of our online nursing degree programs. Those six competencies are:
- Patient-centered care
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Evidence-based practice
- Quality improvement
American Sentinel enhances its nursing curriculum by adopting the QSEN model. Our curriculum prepares nurses to improve the quality and safety of patient care and the health care organizations in which they work.
American Sentinel’s RN to MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students complete 18 hours of baccalaureate courses and transfer in or complete 30 hours of general education courses, maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.0. Then, they complete 36 graduate credit hours in their chosen RN to MSN specialty.
The nursing programs at American Sentinel University contain practice experiences. This is done to meet the accreditor requirement that RN to BSN, RN to MSN, MSN or DNP programs include practice experiences in the curricula to enable students to achieve the required educational competencies (AACN White Paper, Oct. 2012; DNP Essentials for Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice, 2006; ACEN 2013 Standards). These practice experiences have specific objectives, expected outcomes and competencies.
Practice experiences are not like the clinical experiences you completed to obtain your degree as a registered nurse. Practice experiences do not involve hands-on patient care. They are designed to provide you with the opportunity to apply the concepts and knowledge you learn in the nursing courses.
See Nursing Practice Experience Guide for more information.
Practicum experiences are imbedded in the MSN courses. They will range from interviewing or shadowing someone in the desired role to teaching a section of discussion questions in an online course. Online simulation experiences will be incorporated into the practica experiences.
Our rigorous curriculum covers a breadth of issues in nursing and health care, giving nurses the foundation and skills to expand their practice. In addition to courses in pathophysiology, physical assessment, pharmacology, and advanced nursing roles, here are a couple more of the RN to MSN program’s key courses:
- Theoretical Foundations (N505): Introduces theories of human behavior through psychology, sociology and anthropology standpoints. Much broader than a typical nursing theory course, this course examines why humans behave in certain ways and how nurses can influence making good health care decisions.
- Research Design (N515): Focuses on evidence-based practice and how to evaluate current literature and guidelines, then incorporate these into one’s own nursing practice. Also discusses good qualitative and quantitative research principles.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the RN to MSN accelerated nursing degree program will be able to:
- Assume roles as leaders and collaborators with other professionals and communities in planning, providing and evaluating health care.
- Enhance professional nursing practice through research and evidence-based practice.
- Use theoretical knowledge to guide advanced practice nursing.
- Conduct advanced practice research and leverage insights.
- Create new nursing models that expand the role of citizens in global society.
- Evaluate health policies and economics.
The mission of the RN to MSN and MSN program builds from the American Sentinel University mission, specifically to prepare highly qualified advanced practice professional nursing personnel to serve global health care communities as administrators, educators, and informatics specialists.