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Nursing: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN

Program Description

The Master of Science in Nursing is an online degree offered cooperatively by Columbus State University and Georgia Southwestern University, both fully accredited institutions in the University System of Georgia. This collaboration allows students to enjoy resources from both schools. The 36-38 hour program prepares professional registered nurses for advanced practice nursing roles as culturally competent educators and leaders.

The nursing education concentration will focus on preparing nurses to facilitate learning in various environments through the application of knowledge in instructional design, curriculum development, technology utilization, and evaluation of learning.

The leadership concentration will focus on developing nursing leaders who are able to influence, design, manage, transform, and evaluate the evolution of nursing services and care delivery.

The informatics concentration will focus on developing graduates who are proficient in health information technology and essential informatics competencies to function within health care environments.

The family nurse practitioner program will focus on developing graduates who are prepared to provide primary care to individuals across the life span and in a variety of healthcare settings.

MSN Program Outcomes

 Graduates will be able to:

  1. Implement the selected advanced nurse role-leader, educator, informaticist, or practitioner within health care.
  2. Develop and nurture interprofessional collaborations by communicating and consulting with other health care professionals, including physicians, other health care providers, administrators, community leaders and regulators.
  3. Evaluate the influence of ethical principles on personal and organizational decision-making.  
  4. Utilize nursing research for the promotion of quality nursing education, safe, client-centered health care, and evidence based practice.
  5. Employ critical thinking in the application of nursing and multidisciplinary theoretical frameworks to foster optimal client health outcomes.
  6. Exemplify cultural competence and sensitivity to diversity in dynamic academic and health care environments. 
  7. Demonstrate competence in leadership roles and a commitment to ongoing professional development for the provision of quality, cost-effective client-centered health care and the advancement of nursing practice.
  8. Utilize informatics to improve client outcomes and to promote the health and safety of individuals, groups and communities.

MSN Mission Statement

1. To prepare safe and competent professional nurses, who in collaboration with others, provide or facilitate high quality patient-centered care in a global society and achieve academic excellence in nursing education through learner centered teaching, evidence based practice, creative inquiry and student engagement.

2. To prepare competent and caring individuals for a life of success and leadership in professional nursing through intellectual, personal and social growth and to contribute to the communities in which they live and work.

Admission Requirements

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in nursing (BSN) from a regionally accredited university and a nationally accredited nursing program (NLNAC or CCNE)
  • Minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 (regular admission) or 2.75 (provisional admission)
  • Current unencumbered RN license in the state where clinical course requirements will be met
  • Three (3) professional letters of reference
  • Acceptance into the Graduate School at Columbus State University. For more information about graduate programs at CSU go to
  • Transfer Students: Students who wish to transfer from other MSN/FNP programs must provide the School of Nursing with official transcripts and a letter of good standing from the Director or Dean of their previous program. Students who have earned grades below "B" in their previous MSN/FNP program will not be admitted.

Steps for Admission to Columbus State University & School of Nursing

  • Submit CSU Graduate Admission Application with a $50 non-refundable fee to Enrollment Services/Admissions office. Georgia residents 62 years or older, and previously enrolled students do not pay the application fee.
  • Request all official transcripts for each college or university attended be sent directly to the CSU Enrollment Services/Admissions Office.
  • Submit a completed and up-to-date Certificate of Immunization to the Enrollment Services/Admissions Office before enrollment.

Program Requirements

The MSN degree requirements are located in the academic catalog.

Online Options

Course content is completely online with clinical hours conducted in the student's community.

Requirements for Graduation

The MSN degree is awarded on completion of course work with a 3.0 or better grade point average (GPA), fulfillment of candidacy requirements and successful completion of required course and program requirements.

Career Opportunities

Prepares professional nurses to assume entry-level teaching positions in collegiate and hospital settings. Roles within Nurse Educator practice include:

  • Educator in collegiate or post secondary setting
  • Health educator
  • Program planner
  • Staff educator
  • Patient educator
  • Researcher
  • Collaborator
  • Consultant
  • Case manager
  • Practitioner
  • Health care provider


Dr. Smith

Dr. Cheryl Smith

Position: Professor
Office: Illges Hall 207
Phone: 706-507-8578

Dr. Frander

Dr. Elizabeth Frander

Position: Assistant Director, Graduate Program
Office: Illges Hall 314
Phone: 706-507-8543

Dr. Vael

Dr. Aimee Vael

Position: Associate Professor
Office: Illges Hall 112
Phone: 706-507-8586

Dr. Santo

Dr. Latonya Santo

Position: Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs
Office: Illges Hall 204
Phone: 706-507-8572

Dr. Jones

Dr. Gail Jones

Position: Associate Professor
Office: Illges Hall 315
Phone: 706-507-8542

Ms. Young

Ms. Melissa Young

Position: Academic Advisor
Office: Illges Hall 104
Phone: 706-507-8563


The Georgia Intercollegiate Consortium for Graduate Nursing Education (GICGNE) - a partnership between Columbus State University and Georgia Southwestern University offering the master’s program in nursing- is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Additional Information

One MSN Student's Story (youtube) >>

Is the program completely online?

All didactic portion of the program is 100% online.  Each class will have at least one synchronous class meetings online via WIMBA.  All the students enrolled in the class and the faculty member will be online at the same time for discussions and presentations. Faculty members can be contacted via SKYPE, email or office phone. Students will schedule precepted experiences in their own geographic area.

How long does the MSN program take to complete?

The MSN program can be completed in two academic years or four semesters of full-time study of 9 credit hours per term. While part-time and full-time progressions are available, students are expected to graduate within five years and must take a minimum of four classes per academic year.

Why choose the Columbus State University MSN program?

The MSN program at Columbus State allows you to focus on either Nursing Education or Leadership/Management in Nursing.  For the Nurse Educator you can specialize in community education, staff development or the academic setting in both clinical and classroom.  The Nursing Leadership track is for those interested in management at the institutional, clinical or corporate level.

The program at Columbus State allows for the flexibility of an online program, but the real-time contact with faculty and fellow students.  You can study at home, but not alone. Advising can occur online, via telephone, or in person.

If I do not meet the GPA requirements, can I still be admitted?

Students who do not meet GPA  minimal admission requirements may be admitted on a provisional basis. They must maintain a 3.0 GPA in their coursework once admitted into the program.

Is a background check required?

Yes, a background check will be required once the student has been accepted into the program.

Financial Assistance

For additional information about the program and admission at Columbus State University, contact Ms. Mary-Margaret Fox at 706-507-8581 or

Graduate Academic Regulations

Graduate Admission