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Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NURSING (MSN)

The Future is Here!

The need to add more opportunities for nurses to obtain their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree presents an opportunity to actively address one of the components contributing to the forecasted nursing shortage with the specialization for Nurse Educators. In addition, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects a 16% growth in registered nursing professionals by 2024. This increase will place a larger emphasis on nurses who are prepared for leadership roles. Ottawa University’s MSN program addresses this growing need within the nursing profession as well as the healthcare industry as a whole.

Thank you for considering Ottawa University’s online MSN Program and for your continued commitment to the wonderful profession of nursing!

In Nursing Spirit,

Kathy Kump

Kathy Kump, DNPc, MSN, MHSA, CWOCN, FNP
Director of Nursing
Ottawa University

Our Mission and Goals

As an integral component of Ottawa University, the Nursing program embraces the University’s mission of providing the highest quality liberal arts and professional education in a caring, Christ-inspired community of grace and open inquiry. We are committed to excellence in nursing education that empowers our nursing graduates as servant leaders to improve health outcomes for individuals, families, groups, and communities in diverse population settings.

MSN Program Goals

  • Promote excellence in nursing education that is consistent with current and future trends to meet the diverse health care needs of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.

  • Develop servant leaders in a variety of nursing settings that embody professional competence and cultural humility.

  • Enhance student development of collaborative skills so they may function as transformational leaders across healthcare, educational systems, and other professional environments.

  • Foster a culture of commitment to lifelong learning and professional development for faculty as well as students based on Christ-inspired values.

  • Uphold the best interests of students, faculty, customers, groups and communities with which we partner.  

Learning Outcomes

 At the end of the MSN program the graduate will be able to:

  1. Synthesize knowledge from the humanities and sciences with the art and science of nursing to continuously improve quality and patient safety for diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  2. Employ scholarly inquiry that results in translation of evidence to support advanced nursing practice including clinical prevention and population health.
  3. Champion health care policy, finance, and regulatory issues that influence   health care systems and decision-making in advanced nursing practice.
  4. Role-model a commitment to professional values and ethics that embraces diverse ideas, peoples and cultures in advanced nursing practice.
  5. Demonstrate high-level interpersonal and leadership skills that will advance interprofessional collaboration to improve patient and population safety and health outcomes.
  6. Analyze information management and healthcare technology to inform advanced nursing practice.
  7. Personify a commitment to lifelong learning that will contribute to professional growth, lay the foundation for doctoral study and advance the nursing profession.

Online MSN Program

Our innovative, online, MSN Program can help you fulfill personal and career goals and increase your overall earning potential. In addition, take advantage of these benefits:

  • Personalized attention by expert faculty and staff to ensure you have the support you need to succeed.
  • Patient-focused curriculum designed to assist the MSN graduate to function in today’s complex educational and/or healthcare systems.
  • Learn from instructors with years of real-world experience.
  • These MSN Specialization Tracks can also support professional development towards certification or doctoral study.

Now is the time to open the door to future career opportunities with your MSN.

Core Courses

All Master of Science in Nursing students take these six required core courses.

Transition to the Graduate Nursing Role | NRSG 7000
Assists the nursing student with transition to graduate study at Ottawa University in order to enhance opportunities for success in the program. Historical perspective of the scientific and theoretical basis of nursing at the graduate level of practice is explored. Emphasis is placed on standards for scholarly writing and linkages between theory, practice and research in advanced nursing practice. Core competencies vital to all advanced practice roles and health care in complex systems are addressed. In addition, students explore the complex ethical responsibilities that are faced by today’s nursing leaders.

Advanced Pathophysiology | NRSG 7100
Focuses on advanced physiology and pathophysiology across the life span with emphasis on clinical decision-making when caring for patients with acute and chronic diseases. Disease prevention and health promotion are also emphasized.

Advanced Pharmacology | NRSG 7200
Focuses on advanced pharmacotherapeutics across the life span with emphasis on clinical decision-making when caring for patients with acute and chronic diseases. Current issues and best practices in pharmacology are included.

Advanced Health Assessment | NRSG 7300
Builds upon the student’s previous health assessment knowledge and experience. Emphasis will be placed on holistic assessment, intervention and evaluation using a family-centered approach as well as an exploration of evidence-based strategies for prevention and management.

Research to Improve Quality and Safety for Graduate Nursing Roles | NRSG 7400
Builds upon statistics and expands understanding of research methods and critical analysis of the literature as a foundation for evidence-based practice at the graduate level. There is a focus on the evaluation of outcomes and risk analysis to ensure the improvement of safety and quality in the care of diverse populations.
Prerequisite: Undergraduate Statistics (Statistics for Social Sciences or equivalent statistical course approval)

Cultural Diversity, Policy and Advocacy within Population Health | NRSG 7500
Uses the principles of epidemiology to evaluate disease prevention and health promotion data when advocating for health care policies that meet the needs of diverse population groups. In addition, there is a deeper exploration of cultural diversity and cultural humility with a special emphasis on vulnerable populations.

MSN students choose from one of two specializations: Nurse Educator or Nurse Leadership.
Nurse Educator Specialization

Foundations for Nurse Educator Practice | NRSG 7601
Introduces the theoretical and research base for nurse educator practice in a variety of settings. The nurse educator roles of teaching, service and scholarship are explored and include an emphasis on nurse educators as leaders and change agents who pursue continuous quality improvement within the educational environment. In addition, there is an emphasis on domains of learning and adult learning theory from a learner-centered philosophy. The goal of this approach is to facilitate learner achievement of desired outcomes.
Prerequisite: Successful Completion of CORE MSN Courses or Approval by Program Coordinator &/or Director/designee

Teaching Strategies for Today’s Nurse Educator | NRSG 7602
Emphasizes the theoretical and evidence base for effective teaching in nursing education. Students will examine and evaluate a variety of traditional and innovative teaching/learning strategies used in didactic, lab and clinical settings and identify best practices. There is an emphasis on creating a learner-centered environment that fosters student engagement, clinical reasoning and critical thinking. Techniques to assess student achievement of learning outcomes are highlighted.

Curriculum Design and Assessment Techniques in Nursing Education | NRSG 7603
Explores models for curriculum design, development and evaluation within the context of organizational mission, philosophy, goals, and desired learning outcomes and competencies. There is a focus on internal and external factors influencing the curriculum. Also explores key strategies to enhance critical thinking in the development of instructional design, as well as test construction and item analysis. Analysis of assessment and evaluation data is addressed to facilitate student learning and enhance program effectiveness.

Instructional Technology and Simulation in Nursing Education | NRSG 7604
Examines current and emerging instructional technologies and simulation used in a variety of nursing educational settings and e-learning environments, including online. Application, implementation and evaluation of instructional technologies and simulation concepts are explored to enhance understanding of evidence-based interactive learning practices for direct and indirect patient-care roles.

Nurse Educator Practicum | NRSG 7605
Comprises the nursing education practicum in selected organization(s) with opportunities to apply educational knowledge, skills and concepts in a guided and transformational context in nursing education. Validation of advanced clinical expertise in a selected nursing specialty area is required as a significant value for nurse educators. An evidence-based practice approach is used to guide the scholarly project developed in this course and completed in the capstone.
Prerequisite: Approval by Program Coordinator &/or Director/designee is required for enrollment.

Nurse Educator Capstone | NRSG 7606
Focuses on the integration of knowledge with advanced nursing practice competencies in the role of nurse educator to demonstrate attainment of program outcomes. The scholarly project provides validation of the student’s ability to translate evidence into practice, improve quality outcomes, advance interprofessional collaboration, embrace diversity, and lead change in nursing education.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of all MSN nursing courses or Approval by Program Coordinator &/or Director/designee is required for enrollment.

Foundations for Nurse Leader Practice | NRSG 7701
Introduces the theoretical and research base for nurse leader practice in a variety of settings. There is an emphasis on nurse leaders as scholars and change agents who pursue continuous quality improvement within the health care environment. Professional communication skills such as conflict management and negation are addressed. There is a focus on human resource management in health care organizations, including the unique challenges encountered related to staffing, unionism, productivity, and performance evaluation in today’s complex health care delivery settings.
Prerequisite: Successful Completion of CORE MSN Courses or Approval by Program Coordinator &/or Director/designee

Health Information and Systems Management as a Nurse Leader | NRSG 7702
Examines the essential components of healthcare information systems and patient-care technology in complex healthcare settings. A systems approach is used to evaluate health care delivery modes and work design in order to improve key performance metrics.

Legal and Ethical Issues for Nurse Leaders | NRSG 7703
Explores salient legal and ethical issues faced by nurse leaders. There is a focus on professional accountability, interprofessional communication, advocacy, embracing diversity, and promoting access to healthcare. In addition, evidence-based practice that is based on outcomes measurement and research is addressed.

Business Concepts for Nurse Leaders | NRSG 7704
Provides opportunities to examine critical business acumen needed by nurse leaders. Healthcare economics, strategic planning, and financial management topics are explored to enhance the effectiveness of the nurse leader in today’s complex health care environments.

Nurse Leader Practicum | NRSG 7705
Comprises the nurse leadership practicum focusing on management of outcomes for individuals and populations. An evidence-based practice approach is used to guide the scholarly project developed in this course and completed in the capstone. Strategies to change practice for optimal outcomes are explored.
Prerequisite: Approval by Program Coordinator &/or Director/designee is required for enrollment.

Nurse Leader Capstone | NRSG 7706
Focuses on the integration of knowledge with advanced nursing practice competencies in the role of nurse leader to demonstrate attainment of program outcomes. The scholarly project provides validation of the student’s ability to translate evidence into practice, improve quality outcomes, advance interprofessional collaboration, embrace diversity, and facilitate change as a nurse leader.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of all MSN nursing courses or Approval by Program Coordinator &/or Director/designee is required for enrollment.

For curriculum and course descriptions please download a program overview.

MSN Admission Requirements

This program is designed for the registered nurse who has graduated from an accredited nursing program with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. A current, unrestricted RN license (obtained in the U.S.) is required.
  • A completed Ottawa University application for admission (you can apply online or at any of our locations)
  • Current, unrestricted RN licensure in the United States (must be maintained throughout the program). Licenses will be verified.
  • Successful completion of a criminal background check. Applicant is responsible for this cost.
  • Three professional or academic references. Download reference form here (PDF).
  • Current resume.
  • Three professional or academic letters of recommendation.
  • Career Statement of professional experience and goals in nursing.
  • Evidence of current immunizations (Download Health Status Form here)
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited nursing program with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA (per 4.0 scale) on previous coursework.
    • Regional, national faith-related, or national career-related institutions with CHEA-recognized accreditation and ACEN or CCNE specialized accreditation.
  • Submission of official transcripts of all previous college/university coursework.
  • A personal interview (arranged conveniently with the applicant) may be required at the discretion of the Nursing Program Admission Team.
Additional Items of Note:
  • All previous college/university credits will be evaluated on an individual basis for transfer to Ottawa University.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to have official transcripts from every college/university previously attended forwarded to Ottawa University.
  • Evidence of current immunizations (with a health status form) and current copy of CPR (professional/healthcare) card must be received and on file prior to selected practice experiences. These deadline submission dates will be communicated to the students.
  • Please Note: Students are responsible for any costs associated with immunization, titers, and/or physical exam. Personal health insurance coverage is highly recommended as a student.

Students will need to obtain PRIOR approval from any health care/educational/community agency/institution/facility in which they may plan to participate at for a specific course project/experience and provide the appropriate Ottawa University Nursing Program Faculty with evidence of this approval. You must be currently licensed as an RN in that state in which you plan to participate in these selected practice experiences.

Other possible considerations:
Curriculum is delivered in a flexible online format, however, there may be some occasions throughout the program in which the student will need to arrange an (online) appointment in advance with other students and/or the instructor to discuss assignments/projects, or be online for a specific time in order to participate in a class (synchronous login or in other words, a live/time-specific class). If this is a requirement for a particular course, this will be communicated at the beginning of that course.


Practicum requirements are met through practice experience opportunities within selected coursework enhanced in health care/educational/community agency/institution/facility settings as well as other reflective experiences guided by the nursing faculty.


As a new MSN program, Ottawa University continues to create relationships with each state. At this time we are unable to accept students into the nursing program from the following states:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Louisiana
  • Massachusetts
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

No. The required MSN courses are offered 100% online, therefore, the student may complete the courses in his/her hometown.


The length of the program will vary depending on the individual student and how many courses the student will take each term. Some students may finish in 24 months or it may take longer for others.


The total credit hours required for this graduate degree is 36.


The master's degree program in nursing at Ottawa University is pursuing initial accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. Applying for accreditation does not guarantee that accreditation will be granted.


Since the courses are provided in an online format, the student will need access to the Internet and be familiar with sending and receiving email, as well as the use of PowerPoint. In addition, an inexpensive webcam, microphone capability, speakers and/or headphone set will be needed at particular points within the curriculum.



Terms for the Ottawa University MSN program are offered at convenient times throughout the year. Please contact an enrollment advisor for specific dates.


Because Ottawa University’s goal is to provide the best quality MSN nursing students to represent the University, as well as the community in which it serves, a criminal background check is required for acceptance into the program. The student will be responsible for the cost of this background check.

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