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Master of Science

Specializations    apply

Advance your career path

Established in 1979, the Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) at South Dakota State University prepares nurses for advanced practice in nursing administration, leadership, clinical practice or education. Our program offers you the flexibility needed to pursue a degree while continuing to work. We will work with you to create an individualized plan that allows you to pursue your nursing goals. 

Program Outcomes

To prepare nurse administrators, clinical nurse leaders, family nurse practitioners and nurse educators who:

  • Apply knowledge of evidence-based practice,
  • Engage in life-long learning,
  • Serve South Dakota, the region, the nation, and the world in urban, rural, and frontier health care settings and 
  • Function in leadership roles.

Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the program, the graduate will successfully demonstrate the following outcomes: 
  1. Incorporate knowledge and theories from nursing and other supportive disciplines to promote and translate evidence into practice to effectively tailor health care to diverse populations.
  2. Use leadership strategies at the organizational and individual level to work with interprofessional teams to recommend quality improvement initiatives to provide safe healthcare delivery and improve population health.
  3. Assume accountability to influence health policy, improve healthcare delivery, decrease health disparities and address the diversity of health care needs.
  4. Utilize informatics to enhance delivery of healthcare to a population.
  5. Communicate effectively with populations to improve health through population-centered strategies of health promotion/disease prevention education.
  6. Master's specialization specific student learning outcomes:
    • Nurse administrator: Analyze and apply a broad spectrum of administrative functions such as management principles and business skills to influence health care delivery systems (meets program content student learning outcome, essential IX).
    • Nurse educator: Utilize acquired knowledge and skills to develop and implement a nurse educator evidence-based practice in a variety of settings (meets program content student learning outcome, essential IX).
    • Clinical nurse leader (CNL): Utilize microsystem assessment date to design, implement and evaluate evidence-based interventions that improve safety and quality for selected populations (meets program content student learning outcome, essential IX).
    • Family nurse practitioner (FNP): Collaborate with the interprofessional team in the translation, implementation, analysis and dissemination of evidence-based practice to improve healthcare outcomes (meets program content student learning outcome, essential IX).

Choose a specialization to help you reach your nursing goals

Nurse Administrator (online)

Are you driven to lead? The nurse administrator option prepares graduate to utilize concepts and theories from nursing management and health administration to assume leadership positions in healthcare agencies. Gain skills in personnel management and budgetary resources. 

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Clinical nurse leader (online)

Manage microsystems of care and implement outcome-based practice and quality improvement strategies. The clinical nurse leader option prepares graduates for coordination of care and clinical leadership in all healthcare settings. 

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Nurse educator (online)

Do you want to make an impact on the future generation of nurses? The nurse educator option prepared graduates to utilize theories of teaching and learning in a variety of settings with emphasis on nursing education. Graduates will be able to plan, implement and evaluate nursing education programs. 

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Family Nurse Practitioner

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) option prepares graduates for the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) role in primary care settings. This program is a combination of on campus and online course delivery. Upon completion, the graduate is eligible for FNP certification and is prepared to deliver primary healthcare in collaboration with other health providers to clients across the lifespan. 

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Apply now