Master of Science in Nursing

Program Description

The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program offers two areas of concentration: Nurse Educator and Entry-level practice.  The Nurse Educator concentration builds on the expertise and experience of the professional nurse, preparing graduates for advanced nursing practice. The Entry-level practice concentration admits students with a previous baccalaureate degree in a field other than nursing and builds upon that educational preparation and additional prerequisite courses. Core content for both concentrations includes critical decision making, ethical leadership, evidence-based practice, innovations in systems improvement, relationship-centered holistic care, and health policy.

Prior to admission to the MSN program, students complete a college-level statistics course inclusive of descriptive and inferential statistics. The statistics course must have been completed within five (5) years of entering the program. Note: St. Catherine does not accept course work from technical colleges or from technical colleges prior to their merger with regionally accredited community colleges. The Entry-level concentration has additional prerequisite requirements. See the Admission section of this catalog for details.

Education is delivered in a hybrid, online, or face-to-face format for the Entry-level practice concentration and fully online for the Educator concentration. Students' clinical practicum experiences are jointly determined by faculty, students, and collaborating organizations and are generally completed during normal business hours. Courses and clinical experiences in the Entry-level concentration are offered primarily evenings and occasional weekends. Practicum experiences in the Nurse Educator concentration are designed to be flexible and are scheduled by the student in collaboration with the faculty.


The Master of Science in Nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc., 3343 Peachtree Rd. N.E., Suite 850, Atlanta, Georgia 30326. Phone: 404-975-5000.


The Nurse Educator concentration meets the standards for the Certified Nurse Educator credential offered by the National League for Nursing. Students are eligible to take the Nurse Educator certification once completing their program.

Upon completion of the Entry-Level concentration, graduates are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®) and to apply for certification as public health nurses with the Minnesota Board of Nursing. 

Degree Requirements

Nurse Educator concentration: students complete 32 hours of graduate credit with an overall minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Entry-Level concentration: students complete 57 semester hours of graduate credit with an overall minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Years to Complete the Program

Nurse Educator concentration: designed to be completed in two years. The program must be completed within five years of initial enrollment.

Entry-Level concentration: designed to be completed in 26 months. Students may request a leave of absence. If the leave is approved, the leave is typically granted for one calendar year.

Progression Policy

Requirements to Remain in Good Standing

  • B (3.0) or better in every course
  • Adherence to the MSN program student policies

Conditions for Program Dismissal

Students who do not maintain a B (3.0) in every course in the program of study or who do not satisfy the conditions of the Guided Improvement Plan, as determined by the program of study faculty members and Nursing Graduate Programs Director, are dismissed from the program.