Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.)

Fully-accredited & State-supported



The Master of Science (M.S.) in Nursing Program is the only land-based and state-supported MSN degree program in Middle Tennessee. It is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, and received outstanding evaluation reports at the most recent accreditation review. 


The three concentrations offered in the MSN Program are:

Family Nurse Practitioner
leading to certification as a family nurse practitioner,

Nursing Education  (On hold)
leading to certification as a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE), and

Holistic Nursing
initiates eligibility criteria for certification in holistic nursing (additional criteria beyond education required).

All three concentrations are offered both as the major degree and as post-graduate certificates.

Flexible Scheduling

Flexible scheduling of courses is available for students, with online options for students participating in both part-time and full-time study.

Admission Requirements

How to Apply

Completion & Employment Rates 

** 100% Employment Rate! 

Outcome data for various aspects of student achievement is important to share with our stakeholders. The three year completion rate for the MSN program is 60%. The mean certification pass rate for Family Nurse Practitioner graduates is 96%. Tennessee State University MSN graduates are experiencing success finding jobs within the discipline. Graduates of the MSN programs have an overall employment rate of 100%.

The MSN Program offers some online concentrations as a consortium member through TN eCampus. Outcome data for this consortium is below:

FNP Certification Rate
Completion Rate
Employment Rate
*data not reported

What You'll Learn

  1. To conduct comprehensive and systematic assessments as a foundation for clinical decision making
  2. To apply and transfer knowledge of illness and disease management to provide safe evidence based care to diverse populations, perform risk assessments, and design plans or programs or care
  3. To synthesize epidemiological, social, and environmental data in drawing inferences regarding the health status of various populations and interventions to promote and preserve health and health lifestyles.
  4. To operationalize knowledge and skills in education, economics, business principles, and systems in the evaluation of interventions.


How to Apply

Applications received:

  • before August 1st can be considered for Fall admission
  • before December 1st can be considered for Spring admission
  • before April 1st can be considered for Summer admission

Steps to Take

  1. Complete Graduate School application.
  2. Application fee.

Notice for Graduate Student Applicants

The application process for the Tennessee State University (TSU) MSN program  must be completed through the Nursing Centralized Application Service for Nursing Programs (NursingCAS).

You will first go to School of Graduate Studies and Research to pay the graduate application fee. Then, complete a Profile page.This creates your personal enrollment on the Graduate enrollment portal. 

The enrollment portal includes an “apply now” tab that directs you to NursingCAS where you will set up an account and begin the MSN application process.   

A completed NursingCAS application AND TSU graduate application are required for admission review.  NursingCAS and TSU admission applications are due on the first of each month for consideration for the upcoming semester till 30 days prior to the start of the semester. All completed NursingCAS AND TSU admission applications:

  • received before August 1st can be considered for Fall admission,
  • before December 1st can be considered for Spring,
  • and before April 1st can be considered for Summer.

Instructions for the application submission process are provided on the School’s TSU Admissions page, NursingCAS website, and for the website at TSU School of Graduate Studies and Research.  For additional information about the NursingCAS process, please visit the NursingCAS Frequently Asked Questions page.

Re-application -- For Individuals who desire to resume their educational trajectory, if you have not taken classes for one Fall or Spring semester you must reapply to the Graduate School (Please see  TSU School of Graduate Studies and Research). If your original graduate application is more than 12 months old (e.g., you originally applied in Fall 2014, you did not take classes in Spring 2016, you desire to resume your education in Fall 2017) you must submit a new application for readmission to the School of Nurisng in NursingCAS, inclusive of all required information (e.g., references, goal statement, etc.). 

Admission Requirements:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in all required courses (general education and nursing) for the BSN degree OR in all the nursing courses.
  2. Graduation from a Nationally Accredited baccalaureate nursing program
  3. An active, unencumbered RN license in the state in which you practice
  4. Current clinical practice

On-campus Requirements: All students will be required to report to campus for a maximum of three times during their course of study. This includes a Research Day presentation (spring semester), a Project Writing presentation (semester enrolled in final Project Writing course) and comprehensive examination (taken final semester of study).

State Online Validation: If you are interested in any MSN concentration, please verify that you are in a state that permits MS Nursing online degrees from TSU. This information can be obtained from NC SARA.

Required University Immunization Information: There are immunization requirements for university entry. It is imperative that you validate these immunizations. Please see information at /healthcenter/ for how to validate immunization requirements for Tennessee State University.

Required Clinical Immunization Information: There are immunization requirements for clinical courses to promote patient safety. It is imperative that these immunizations be validated for clinical clearance and prior to reporting to any clinical site. These are mandates by clinical partners and can be identified relative to each clinical course. 

Tuition and Fee Information

Tuition and fee information can be obtained from the Bursar's Office. Note: links to an estimate for specific fees related to instate and out of state cost, eRate, and other fees along with an explanation for these fees are located here as well. These can facilitate your understanding of the estimate of the educational cost. 

MSN Comprehensive Examination

Candidates for the MSN degree are required to successfully pass a comprehensive examination covering the professional field of study. The comprehensive examination for the MS Nursing program is designed to test the student's ability to apply principles, as well as the student's skill in demonstrating safe, sound, evidence-based graduate nursing concentration capabilities.  

All students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination as required by the Graduate School. The examination will consist of a proctored examination for each concentration area.

  1. The required comprehensive examination shall be administered during the semester of graduation.
  2. The Comprehensive Examination will be administered in the format decided upon by the school. The Office of Disability Student Services must approve requests for special accommodations.
  3. Grades for the examinations will be filed in the School Office and in the Graduate School Office
  4. In the event that a student fails to pass the first examination, it may be recommended that the candidate be permitted to prepare for re-examination. In this event, the student and the advisor will plan a program of study, including independent study, further course work, or both. Thus, the credit hours may be extended to accommodate the recommendation of the Advisor/Department Head.  
  5. A second failure by a candidate will require further prescribed study before re-examination is permitted.  
  6. A third failure will result in the student’s program of study being extended. The student will be required to take a course that promotes preparation for a fourth and final comprehensive examination attempt.
  7. In the event the student fails the fourth and final attempt, the student will be dismissed from the MSN program in the School of Nursing.

Advising and Graduation

Students are required to meet with their advisors each semester prior to enrollment in courses for subsequent semesters. This meeting can occur in the form of a phone call, email or in-person. This will facilitate completion of required forms such as the Program of Study and Advancement to Candidacy (can be accessed from /graduate/forms.aspx) form which is to be submitted between 9 and 12 hours of study and the Application for Graduation in a timely manner. It is the students responsibility to make this contact and ensure they are knowledgeable regarding all policies related to their program of study, progression and graduation. 

Students are required to apply for graduation during their final program semester. The application and other information can be obtained from the Graduate Studies website. Degrees cannot be retroactively conferred.

Technology Requirements and Resources

  • Operating System: Windows XP/Vista/7/8, Mac (10.4+)
  • Browser:  Internet Explorer version 8 and above, Firefox 3.0+, Google Chrome, Safari
  • Internet Connection: Minimum 256 kbps or above 
  • Outbound Port to be opened:  80 (HTTP), 443 (HTTPS/XMPP)
  • Memory:  At least 256 MB RAM and a Pentium 3 or faster processor
  • Cookies: Allow
  • JavaScript: Enable
  • Flash Player: Flash Version 9.0.28 or higher
  • Collaboration port 443:  Open
  • Popups: Allow

TSU Technology Helpdesk - 615-963-7777 | website

For More Information

Dr. Donna Kenerson, MSN Program Director

Helpful Aids


SARA - State Reciprocity Agreements for online eligibility to attend

 msn holistic endorsing


Online Nursing Program


Online U




MSN Research Day 2023


c. nappier

b. wade