Master of Science in Nursing

The Mission of the Graduate Program at Central Methodist University is to create a learning environment that allows students to continue their professional development. This is achieved through emphasis on academic and professional excellence, ethical leadership, and social responsibility.

Mission of the MSN Program

The Master of Science in Nursing Program in the College of Graduate and Extended Studies at Central Methodist University provides opportunities for qualified students to acquire the knowledge necessary to enhance professional leadership and management skills while nurturing a research-oriented, mentor and evidence-based practice nursing environment. The Master of Science in Nursing Program's mission is to prepare nurses to practice in a professional role with a master's degree in nursing. The primary focus is to provide advanced practice clinical skills and knowledge fostering ethical leadership and social responsibility.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)

The program has been written using the guiding principles developed by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The MSN graduate should be eligible to matriculate to a practice- or research-focused doctoral program. The MSN program at CMU accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791, the accreditation arm of AACN.

MSN Philosophy

The goal of the Central Methodist University Master of Science in Nursing Program is to facilitate opportunities for qualified students to acquire the knowledge necessary to provide excellent nursing leadership and management skills while nurturing a research-oriented, mentor and evidence-based practice environment. This knowledge is acquired within a liberal arts experience, which emphasizes honesty, integrity, civility and a strong sense of personal responsibility. Professional preparation as a nurse includes promoting lifelong learning, social responsibility and service.

Clinical Nurse Leader Program: The goal of the Master of Science in Nursing, Clinical Nurse Leader Program is to provide opportunities for qualified students to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in nursing and clinical leadership in the health care delivery system across all health care settings. The CNL assumes accountability for client care outcomes through the assimilation and application of evidence-based information to design, implement, and evaluate the process of health care delivery. The goal also includes improving clinical or client outcomes and enhancing nursing practice through the identification and application of evidence-based care to clients and families. The CNL is accountable for a defined group of clients within the health care setting. The CNL is a formal leader and provides horizontal leadership to foster lateral integration of care.

For more information about the Clinical Nurse Leader role and certification options, please visit the AACN website.

Students in their last term of a CNL education program may sit for the CNL Certification Exam prior to sitting for NCLEX. These students will be formally certified after successfully passing the certification exam and notifying CNC of meeting the remaining eligibility requirements - RN licensure and graduation from a CNL education program.

Nurse Educator Program: The goal of the Master of Science in Nursing, Nurse Educator program is to provide opportunities for qualified students to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in nursing to enable them to provide nursing education across all settings in which health care information is delivered. The Nurse Educator assumes accountability for client or student outcomes through the assimilation and application of evidence-based information to design, implement, and evaluate curriculum, instruction, and learning. The goal also includes improving client or student outcomes and enhancing nursing practice through the identification of and application of effective instructional strategies. The Nurse Educator is accountable for a defined group of clients or students within an educational setting.

Nursing Faculty Belief: The faculty believes persons are unique, holistic and developing beings with the process and capacity for thinking, feeling, reflecting and choosing. Health is a state and a process of being and becoming an integrated and whole person. Health is a continuum ranging from peak wellness to death. Nursing assists persons, families and communities to examine life and environmental patterns while attaching personal meaning to these patterns. Nursing acts to enhance interaction with the environment by promoting meaningful life experiences and growth. The profession of nursing is an integrated part of a system for health care delivery and shares responsibility for working collaboratively with other health care practitioners.

Nursing education is a process, which enables the learner to synthesize a body of knowledge obtained through courses in nursing, liberal arts, humanities, and the sciences. Because nursing is dynamic, the education is foundational for professional growth through nursing research and continuing education.

The faculty believes that the learner is best able to reach individual potential in an environment that is nurturing and promotes inquiry, dialogue, curiosity, creativity, the ethical ideal and assertiveness. The learner brings an attitude of commitment and motivation for achievement. The role of the learner is to share in the responsibility of the teaching-learning process.

The facilitator interacts with students as persons of worth, dignity, intelligence and high scholarly standards. The facilitator's role is to provide the climate, structure, and dialogue that promote discovery of patterns and paradigms for practice. The facilitator raises questions that require reading, observation, analysis, and reflection upon patient care. The facilitator nurtures the learner, is available for dialogue, and promotes the use of research and critical thinking in the delivery of nursing care.

Program Outcomes

Clinical Nurse Leader Program Outcomes

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

  1. Design, coordinate, supervise and evaluate care provided by the health care team evaluating appropriate use of fiscal and human resources.
  2. Assume accountability for client care outcomes by utilizing evidence-based information to design, implement, and evaluate the process of health care delivery.
  3. Evaluate issues in health care delivery from an ethical, socio-political, technological, and historical framework while providing leadership for change.
  4. Effect change through advocacy for clients within the health care delivery and policy system, the profession, and the interdisciplinary health care team.
  5. Assume personal responsibility and accountability for current practice and health care information and skills.
  6. Utilize a multidisciplinary approach to discuss strategies and identify and acquire resources for client populations that empower them to attain health and maintain wellness.
  7. Identify the impact of health care financial policies and economics on the delivery of health care and client outcomes.
  8. Utilize information systems and patient care technologies at the point of care to improve health care outcomes.
  9. Effectively utilizes varied methods of communication and technologies to impact care and practice, including instructional practices, at macro-, meso-, and microsystems levels.

Nurse Educator Program Outcomes

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

  1. Design, coordinate, and evaluate educational experiences provided to student and patient populations.
  2. Assume accountability for learning outcomes, including those that focus on patient care, by utilizing research-based information to design, implement, and evaluate learning experiences.
  3. Analyze issues in education from an ethical, sociopolitical, technological, and historical framework while providing leadership for change.
  4. Advocate for policies that improve nursing education and the profession of nursing.
  5. Analyze the impact of higher education on nursing education focusing on policy, issues, and trends.
  6. Analyze nursing history to expand thinking and provide a sense of professional heritage and identity.
  7. Integrate findings from the sciences and humanities to impact educational outcomes.
  8. Mentor and coach nursing students and other members of the educational team.
  9. Effectively utilize varied methods of communication and technologies to enhance learning.
  10. Integrate clinical prevention and population health concepts in the development of health education, communication strategies, and interventions.
  11. Design strategies that promote lifelong learning for self, peers, and students that incorporate professional nursing standards and accountability for practice.
  12. Integrate an evolving personal philosophy of nursing and healthcare into one's educational practice.

Admission Criteria

POLICY: The Admissions Committee shall review all completed applications to the nursing program. The committee will determine whether an applicant may be admitted unconditionally, admitted with provisions, or not admitted, based on established criteria. This committee will include the following individuals: the Division Chair of Health Professions, all CMU nursing program and clinical coordinators, one full time MSN faculty member, and one adjunct MSN faculty member.

Students who have graduated from any of Central Methodist University's baccalaureate nursing programs in 2012 or later, have passed the NCLEX, and have an unencumbered nursing license are eligible for direct admission to the MSN program. Please contact Graduate Admissions for further information at

All other applicants must meet the following requirements:

  1. Eligible for admission to Central Methodist University's Graduate School
  2. Current Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree from a college or university accredited by CCNE or ACEN (previously NLNAC).
  3. Students with an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and a non-nursing Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university may be considered for acceptance after submitting a portfolio of experiences based on the Essentials of Baccalaureate Nursing Education to the Admission's Committee.
  4. Current, undisciplined RN license from a U.S. state or territory
  5. Cumulative GPA 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from the completed BSN program
  6. Nursing Research course with a C grade or better
  7. Statistics course with a C grade or better
  8. Submission of an Application for Admission
  9. Resume and cover letter (one page each) detailing why you are pursuing a graduate degree and how you will use this degree to improve your current practice. Submit to
  10. Submission of a formal written paper to A maximum of four pages, demonstrating skills in grammar, spelling, and composition supported by at least two (2) sources from current literature (APA formatting mandatory) that addresses one of the two following prompts:
    What is the role of the Clinical Nurse Leader (CNL) in shaping the future of healthcare delivery? or
    What is the role of the Nurse Educator in shaping the future of healthcare delivery?
  11. Two letters of recommendation, one must be from a previous instructor or supervisor. Letters of recommendation should be submitted directly from the author to or faxed to the attention of CGES Admissions to 660-248-6392.

Official transcripts from all colleges previously enrolled at must be requested to be sent to the CGES Office of Admissions at 411 Central Methodist Square, Fayette, MO 65248. Or, e-transcripts may be requested. If able to provide a specific email address in the delivery line, please use

Conditional Admission

Students who do not meet the published admission criteria for the MSN program may petition for conditional admission during the Admission Review Process. Petition letters must explain why the student does not meet the standard and provide a valid reason for consideration for acceptance. Additionally, students should express how they plan to be successful should their petition to be considered for admission be granted. The Admissions Committee will then submit a recommendation to the Director of Graduate Studies once the petition has been reviewed.

Criteria Upon Acceptance

Depending on individual circumstances, some MSN students may need to purchase liability insurance through the University and a CastleBranch account, including a criminal background check, urine drug screen, and immunization tracker. Students will be contacted by the MSN Program Coordinator with additional details.

Students need to have a computer with access to the internet to be successful in this program. They must also have Microsoft Office Professional 2007 or newer version to enable them to submit papers to the faculty which are easily opened and by which faculty comments can be submitted as feedback to the students. Documents must be saved in .rtf, .doc, or .docx format.

Requirements for Continuation in Program


Students must earn a grade of "B" in all Nursing (NU) courses. Should a student receive a grade of less than B for any one NU course, s/he must repeat the course.

Withdrawal (a grade of "W") from any NU course other than a medical withdrawal is considered the same as being academically unsuccessful in that course for purposes of progression through the nursing program. Should the student receive any second grade of less than B for any NU course, the second grade of less than a B (or two non-medical withdrawals) will result in the student's dismissal from the nursing education program.

Resumption of the program following an approved medical withdrawal requires a letter from the health provider stating that there are no restrictions affecting the student's ability to resume the course of study.

Any student not actively participating in the MSN program for more than three consecutive semesters is dropped from the program and must reapply for consideration for acceptance into the program.

Note: No current CMU student shall supervise another CMU student as part of any CMU course. This specifically includes all practicum, internships, and student-teaching experiences or related courses. Students should consult the appropriate advisor if they have any questions regarding their assignment for the aforementioned experiences.

Graduation Requirements

  1. A 3.0 cumulative G.P.A. must be maintained and a grade of "B" or above must be earned in all graduate course work. Should a student receive a grade of less than a "B" the student must "stop out" and return to repeat that course before continuing.
  2. The MSN Program must be completed within five years of the initial start date.


Method of Assessment

Specific Program Outcomes are aligned with each course. Each course has primary objectives which illuminate the aligned Program Outcomes. Satisfactory achievement of the identified primary objective demonstrates accomplishment of the Program Outcome. Each primary objective has a specific course assignment for which successful completion of the assignment at or above the established threshold signifies student achievement of the objective.


Student evaluations of instruction (SEIs) are reviewed at the end of each course and each academic year as part of the Nursing Department's yearly evaluation process. Graduate, alumni, and Employer surveys are issued annually in December. The surveys are designed to provide an opportunity for these groups of constituents to provide feedback to the programs regarding the achievement of program outcomes and new opportunities to provide service.


Faculty provide primary feedback to students regarding assignments through the course management system, myCMU. Rubrics used to grade assignments with comments appended are attached to the course room. Feedback for assignments is NOT provided through email.

Faculty are required to respond to student assignments with feedback not more than 7 days following the due date for the assignment. Work turned in early does not require earlier feedback.

Faculty will be active participants in the discussion forum at least once per week.

Faculty should respond to questions and concerns communicated via Courseroom in no more than 24 hours.

The Portfolio, which may include course summaries and self-evaluation related to whether the courses content helped them meet the program outcomes, is primarily a methodology for students to demonstrate growth in professionalism to actual and potential employers and for 5-year recertification as a CNL or CNE.


NU500 Advanced Health Assessment (4 credit hours)
NU502 Advanced Pathophysiology (3 credit hours)
NU504 Advanced Pharmacology (3credit hours )
NU514 Theoretical Frameworks (2 credit hours)
NU509 Curriculum Development (3 credit hours) NU508 Epidemiology (4 credit hours)
NU511 Advanced Professional Role - NE (3 credit hours) NU510 Advanced Professional Role - CNL (3 credit hours)
NU513 Evaluation Methods (3 credit hours) NU512 Health Care Finance/Policy/Economics (3 credit hours)
NU515 Instructional Strategies (3 credit hours) NU516 Health Care Issues (3 credit hours)
NU517 Issues and Trends in Post-Secondary Education (3 credit hours) NU518 Evidence-Based Client Care Management (4 credit hours)
NU519 Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing Education (4 credit hours) NU590 Pre-Residency (1 credit hour)
NU523 Adult Nurse Educator Practicum (3 credit hours) NU522 Clinical Nurse Leader Residency (4 credit hours)


Master of Science in Nursing Courses

NU590. This required orientation is free of charge, and has no credit hours attached. The purpose of this orientation is to assist new program students with navigation in the electronic platform used for course participation, insure all required documentation for participation in the program is complete, and for introduction of the faculty.

NU500 Advanced Health Assessment. The focus of this course is development of advanced health history and assessment skills. Discussion will center on interpreting data, recognizing deviations from normal, recognizing actual and potential health problems, and determining the nursing/medical diagnosis. Cultural diversity and ethical issues will be considered. 4 hours: 3 didactic, 1 hour clinical (40 contact hours) with Shadow Health.

NU502 Advanced Pathophysiology. The purpose of this course is to build on the student's existing knowledge of pathophysiologic alterations and apply that knowledge to selected patient populations. The focus will be on alterations in body systems, pathophysiologic changes and associated signs and symptoms across the life span. 3 hours.

NU504 Advanced Pharmacology. The focus of this course is on Pharmacotherapeutics and the implications for nursing practice. Treatment guidelines, indications, contraindications, prescription writing, drug law, and drug information resources will be discussed using case studies. 3 hours.

NU508 Epidemiology. This course weaves the discipline of epidemiology with the role of the Clinical Nurse Leader. Topics include the history of epidemiology, disease transmission dynamics, public health surveillance, legal/ethical issues, culture, and prevention. The statistical measures of epidemiology are applied to patient safety and quality of care through the role of the Clinical Nurse Leader. Students will be provided the opportunity to further explore an epidemiological topic of choice, including emerging infectious diseases, chronic diseases, genetics, environment, and pandemics. 4 hours, including 20 contact hours of clinical/project.

NU509 Curriculum Development. This course examines theoretical foundations, principles and issues in curriculum design. It explores design, systematic evaluation and function of curriculum structure. Considers assumptions, methods and resources in the design and evaluation of various curricula in formal and practice settings. 3 hours.

NU510 Advanced Professional Role-CNL. Students will examine the role of Master's prepared nurses with attention to the Clinical Nurse Leader. The students will gain a working knowledge of the concepts of leadership, communication micro-systems, quality, education and ANA standards and ethics. 3 hours.

NU511 Advanced Professional Role-NE. Students will examine the role of the Master's prepared nursing educators with attention to the factors of historic nursing education, responsibility to students and institution, legal and ethical issues, and the accreditation process. 3 hours.

NU512 Health Care Finance/Policy/Economics. The course introduces students to health care finance and policy. Students will develop an understanding of health care economics, the health care system, the development of health policy, and the role of the advance practice nurse in the process. 3 hours.

NU513 Evaluation Methods. The purpose of this course is to prepare nurse educators to appropriately and effectively evaluate students in both the classroom and clinical settings. The course will focus on developing effective classroom and clinical evaluation tools; assembling and administering exams; analyzing exam results; analyzing the social, ethical, and legal issues related to evaluation and testing; and developing an understanding of overall program assessment and evaluation. 3 hours.

NU514 Theoretical Frameworks. This course presents a variety of conceptual and theoretical frameworks and allows students to examine both nursing and contemporary theories from other disciplines. 2 hours.

NU515 Instructional Strategies. This course explores the role of educator, including classroom management and diverse student needs. Students examines teaching strategies as applied to nursing education, instructional methods and best practices. Emphasis is placed on student participation in the learning process and learning principles. Key theories of human nature, culture and society related to teaching and learning are introduced. 3 hours.

NU516 Health Care Issues. This course assists students to explore current issues and events impacting professional nursing practice. The impact of systems thinking, diversity, health literacy, health care reform, social factors, economic responsibilities, and ethical and legal issues influencing healthcare will be examined. 3 hours.

NU517 Issue and Trends in Post-Secondary Education. This course encompasses a foundational understanding of the current and historical structures and governance of post-secondary education. Students will explore the external issues of accountability facing post-secondary education such as accreditation, state and federally legislated regulations, and the economic factors of affordability. Current and historically relevant issues related to faculty, academic freedom, research, funding, students, and technology will be explored. 3 hours.

NU518 Evidence-Based Client Care Management. This course introduces evidence-based practice at the bedside leading to continuous quality improvement in the clinical nurse leader role. Students will identify best practices by appraising evidence for potential solutions, plan a practice change project, and explore EBP models to evaluate outcomes. This course requires completion of 40 clinical/project hours. 4 hours.

NU519 Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing Education. This course introduces evidence-based practices in nursing education leading to continuous quality improvement int eh nurse educator role. Students will identify clinical/classroom questions, search and appraise evidence for potential solutions, plan a practice change, identify theoretical framework, explore EBP models to evaluate outcomes, and develop a strategy to disseminate findings. This course is designed for both academic and staff educators. 4 credit hours.

NU522 Clinical Nurse Leader Residency. This course includes the 300 contact hour clinical experience which will provide students with an opportunity to work in the role of clinical nurse leader under the guidance of a mentor. Students share progress on their clinical activities through online discussions. 4 hours.

NU523 Nurse Educator Practicum. This course integrates the concepts of NU 511, 513, 515, 517, 519 and provides students the opportunity to demonstrate these concepts in their final project. The final project will be completed in 200-300 hours. 3 hours.

NU590 Residency Preparation. Students will identify clinical activities and create objectives to fulfill the 300 hour clinical residency requirement in NU522. 1 hour.

*The MSN programs do require clinical hours as part of some courses. Specific information is available from the Program Coordinator.