The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree prepares graduate advanced practice registered nurses as quality providers to meet healthcare needs of individuals, families and populations in surrounding communities. The MSN is the professional degree that prepares nurse practitioners to meet the dynamic and identified health care needs of local, regional and global societies. Upon completion of the accelerated Masters of Science in Nursing Program, graduates are eligible to sit for certification in the chosen specialty area. Tusculum College School of Nursing currently offers the MSN concentration area of Family Nurse Practitioner. For further information on the MSN program, please contact the Chair of Graduate Programs.

The Tusculum College MSN program provides students with the opportunity to provide advanced practice nursing care in a variety of practice settings. The MSN program has experienced faculty that provide mentorship and support to students.  The emphasis of the program is on use of evidence-based knowledge and skills to lead the healthcare team, encourage health promotion, diagnose and treat acute and chronic illness and evaluate the plan of care. However, critical thinking and decision-making skills are also emphasized and upon completion of the program, the student is prepared for doctoral level study in nursing.

The RN to MSN FNP concentration track requires 63 semester hours (6 semesters) of graduate course work including a minimum of 795 clinical hours. The concentration courses (NURS 551, NURS 552, NURS 561, NURS 562, NURS 571, NURS 572, NURS 581, & NURS 582) build upon and expand knowledge and concepts from the core courses of the curriculum and the unique life and academic experiences of the students. A comprehensive exam is required during the final semester. Students also complete a directed scholarly project. Students may transfer a maximum of 12 credit hours toward degree requirements. Transfer credits must be approved by the Chair of Graduate Programs. Credit for some courses may not be transferred. Please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for a list of courses that may not be transferred into the Master’s program.

Classes are conducted one day a week (Tuesdays). The RN to MSN concentration begins in the spring with 2 semesters of bridge courses (spring and summer) then the cohort matriculates in with the BSN to MSN cohort in the fall. There is a part time option that has to be worked out with the Chair of Graduate Nursing on an individual basis.

The curriculum can be found in the graduate student handbook.

Program Admission and Progression

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) concentration is a blended curriculum. Specifically, classes include both on campus and online activities. However, this is not an on-line program. Students may request full or part-time status. Part-time graduate nursing students must meet with the Chair of Graduate Programs to plan an individualized progression plan. This ensures that course prerequisites and future course availability will be incorporated into the part-time plan. Anytime there is a change in status, a new program plan must be designed.

Comprehensive Examination Requirements

All students must successfully complete a comprehensive examination to complete the program. The comprehensive exam is given in the last semester in NURS 592 Integrative Practicum in Family Practice. The comprehensive exam will be given through Fitzgerald Exit Exams. Students have 3 opportunities to pass the exam. Students are responsible to pay the fee for the exam and repeat attempts on the comprehensive exam.

Campus/On-site Time

Classes will be held on campus one day/week. Students will be expected to come to campus additionally 2 or 3 times over the course of the first semester for unique health assessment lab opportunities. Health assessment lab opportunities not scheduled on regular class days will be announced two to three weeks prior to the health assessment opportunity.

Clinical Sites

Students will work with the Graduate Clinical Director and faculty to locate appropriate clinical placements that meet the academic requirements for the clinical course. While students may identify potential clinical sites, they are not guaranteed any particular site placement. Some clinical placements may require the student to travel 2-3 hours or more for a clinical site placement. Travel to and from clinical sites is part of the FNP concentration requirement to meet the required clinical hours in the program.

For more information regarding the FNP concentration please call 1-423-636-7430 Nursing Office or submit questions to MSN-FNP@tusculum.edu.

Also, see the Student Graduate Handbook on the Graduate Student Handbook page.