Graduate Degree Programs
Master of Science in Nursing (Direct-Entry)
As a master’s prepared nurse, you’ll gain the expertise to promote health and make positive changes to elevate patient care. In addition, you’ll stand out in the job market having advanced knowledge and skills. Through our emphasis on excellent clinical preparation and expert faculty mentorships, you’ll graduate with the experience you need to excel and the opportunity for promotion into advance specialties.
Upcoming CCNE Visit
The Texas Lutheran University Department of Nursing will host an accreditation visit for the new Direct Entry MSN program by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) on March 6-8, 2023. Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, CCNE contributes to the improvement of the public’s health by ensuring the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate and residency programs in nursing.
The 2023 accreditation of the Department of Nursing’s new DEMSN program is officially underway, a process that includes a structured self-study evaluation designed to address CCNE’s Standards for Accreditation of Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing Programs (2018) and an on-campus site visit designed to further engage faculty, staff, students and communities of interest in offering the best nursing education possible. As a voluntary, self-regulatory process, CCNE accreditation supports and encourages continuing self-assessment and improvement of collegiate professional education and entry-to-practice nurse residency programs.
Our DEMSN program features small class sizes in face-to-face and hybrid modalities. We provide 990 hours of hands-on training that includes clinical experience in a range of care settings including medical-surgical acute care, geriatrics, surgery, behavioral health, pediatrics, OB-GYN, emergency room nursing, intensive care units (ICU), intermediate care (IMC) and community health settings. Upon graduation, you’ll earn both your BSN and MSN and be prepared no matter what direction your career takes you.
After graduating from our program, you will be prepared sit for the NCLEX to earn your RN license. Your credentials as a master’s prepared nurse will help you stand out in the marketplace and position you for faster entry into post-master’s certification programs to become an advanced practice nurse. It will also help you build the foundation to purse your DNP or Ph.D. in the future.
TLU’s DEMSN Will Equip You To:
- Provide exceptional patient care with knowledge from a general graduate education.
- Offer an advanced knowledge of nursing and science to provide patient-centered care within culturally diverse populations with various healthcare needs.
- Use leadership skills to advance standards of care with an emphasis on organization and fiscal accountability.
- Foster greater quality improvement and safety within healthcare organizations.
- Create research and conceptual ideas while using critical thinking to translate evidence into nursing practice.
- Manage information systems and patient care technology within a rapidly changing environment.
- Evaluate and respond to the effects of health policies and their relationship to disparities in patient care and health outcomes.
- Demonstrate effective inter-professional collaboration to promote team-based care, therapeutic communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution.
- Develop a professional identity supported by positive self-care, resilience, life-long learning, and servant leadership in the professional nursing community.
Program Format: How You Will Study
The DEMSN is a 75-credit hybrid program that can completed in as few as 20 months. While most of the instruction is held on campus in New Braunfels, Texas, 12 of the 21 courses are hybrid, including a mix of in-person and online instruction. Four classes are given fully online. The DEMSN track is designed for applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree in any academic major looking to make a career change to nursing. It can be completed in as few as 20 months of full-time study and will prepare you to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse.
Your Courses Will Combine:
- In-person learning – Master fundamental and advanced academic concepts in engaging classes led by our expert faculty.
- Training in state-of-the-art simulation labs – Learn patient assessment and clinical treatment skills through hands-on practice with advanced patient simulators and in-person healthcare environments.
- Clinical rotations – Partnering with a number of healthcare organizations with a variety of care settings across the lifespan, our clinical placements for our students are critical to support opportunities for hands-on, skill-based training to meet course requirements and provide challenging learning opportunities.
- Research opportunities – Working under the guidance of a faculty member, you will gain an understanding of how scholarly research is conducted and apply independent thought and judgement in arriving at solutions to problems while contributing to the advancement of knowledge in the nursing profession.
Course Schedule By Semester
The graduate curriculum will include opportunities for students to develop advanced clinical knowledge, conduct independent research, and develop appropriate professional skills.
Semester 1 – 16 credits
- NURS 520 Pharmacology 1 (2 credits)
- NURS 531 Age Span Health Assessment I (3 credits)
- NURS 533 Comprehensive Pathophysiology (3 credits)
- NURS 534 Evidence-Based Professional Nursing I (3 credits)
- NURS 550 Fundamental Nursing Concepts (5 credits)
Semester 2 – 16 credits
- NURS 521 Nursing Informatics (2 credits)
- NURS 541 Behavioral Health/ Psychiatric Nursing (4 credits)
- NURS 536 Nursing Research I (3 credits)
- NURS 528 Promoting Health in Older Adults (2 credits)
- NURS 551 Complex Nursing Concepts & Practice I (5 credits)
Semester 3 – 16 credits
- NURS 624 Nursing Research II (2 credits)
- NURS 630 Age Span Health Assessment II (3 credits)
- NURS 650 Nursing of Childbearing Families (5 credits)
- NURS 662 Complex Nursing Concepts & Practice II (6 credits)
Semester 4 – 15 credits
- NURS 620 Pharmacology II (2 credits)
- NURS 639 Evidence Based Professional Nursing II: Leadership, Theories, and Roles (3 credits)
- NURS 646 Population & Community Health Nursing (4 credits)
- NURS 663 Complex Nursing Concepts & Practice III (6 credits)
Semester 5 – 12 credits
- NURS 636 Quality Improvement & Safety in Healthcare (3 credits)
- NURS 629 Power, Policy, and Politics in Nursing (2 credits)
- NURS 670 Transition to Practice and Clinical Practicum (7 credits)
Total: 75 credits
Tuition and Financial Aid Information
Tuition for the Direct-Entry MSN is billed per credit hour. Tuition for the 2022-2023 academic year is $825 per credit.
Students who have remaining Federal Direct Loan eligibility may borrow through the Direct Loan program at the Junior/Senior loan limits of up to $5,500 in Subsidized and $2,000 (dependent) or $7,000 (independent). DEMSN Students would have eligibility through the Graduate Plus loan program and the Direct Loan program for graduate level students. No federal, state, or institutional grants are available for this program. Students are encouraged to apply for scholarships from external agencies. Free scholarship search engines are available here.
Students will need to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov each academic year to be eligible for federal loans. TLU’s summer term is part of the previous academic year.
The Direct-Entry MSN is designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in any academic major. To apply, the following requirements need to be met:
- Official transcripts from all institutions attended
- Earned a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution
- Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or greater
- ATI TEAS composite score of 70 or higher taken within the last year
- Provide one recommendation form
- A letter of reference to accompany the recommendation form is strongly encouraged
- Completion of two short essay questions on the application
- Completed the following science prerequisite courses with cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better within the last seven years:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II
- General Chemistry
- Plus, the completion of the following courses:
- Developmental Psychology
- Completed health requirements before enrolling in nursing courses
- Completed Texas Board of Nursing Mandatory Background Check and Drug Screening requirements
Have questions about applying to our accelerated nursing program?
Our enrollment advisors are here to help. Contact TLU today about applying to our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing or our Direct-Entry Master or Science in Nursing!
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