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Master of Science in Nursing

nurse education in classroom

About the Program

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, clinical leadership, clinical practice or education.

We feature collaboration and placement with over 200 established partnerships in a variety of local and regional clinical settings. Our clinical preceptors are engaged, caring healthcare professionals who provide an invaluable piece of our students’ clinical education.

Yearly annual fall admission and flexible scheduling allows students to finish the M.S.N. program in three to four and one half years. Total credits vary depending on the specialization chosen. No matter what you choose, we have programs in a variety of formats to meet your evolving needs.

Specializations and Curriculum Plans

Nurse Administrator (Online)

The nurse administrator specialization prepares graduates to utilize concepts and theories from nursing management and health administration and to assume leadership positions in health care agencies. The graduate demonstrates skills in personnel management and budgetary resources. Upon completion of the degree, the graduate may be eligible for the following certifications:

The program coursework is delivered online and includes a field-based practicum. For required courses and more information, see the nurse administrator curriculum plan.

Clinical Nurse Leader (Online)

The clinical nurse leader specialization prepares graduates for coordination of care and clinical leadership in all healthcare settings. The graduate demonstrates skills in managing microsystems of care and is prepared to implement outcomes-based practice and quality improvement strategies. Upon completion of the degree, the graduate may be eligible for the following certification:

The program coursework is delivered online and includes a field-based practicum. For required courses and more information, see the clinical nurse leader curriculum plan.

Nurse Educator (Online)

The nurse educator specialization prepares graduates to utilize theories of teaching and learning in a variety of settings with emphasis on nursing education. The graduate demonstrates the ability to plan, implement and evaluate nursing education programs. Upon completion of this degree, the graduate may be eligible for the following certification:

The program coursework is delivered online and includes a field-based practicum.

To help you reach your goals, we've developed a two-year and three-year curriculum plan. View the curriculum plans for required courses and more information, see the two-year nurse educator curriculum plan OR three-year nurse educator curriculum plan, depending on your needs.

Family Nurse Practitioner

Graduates of this program are prepared to deliver evidence-based direct patient care at an advanced practice level to individuals across the lifespan in primary care settings with an emphasis on rural healthcare. Graduates are eligible to write certification examinations in Family Nurse Practitioner from:

A blend of online and face-to-face course delivery ensures convenience and accessibility. Students complete a minimum of 1000 hours of clinical practice preceptorship. For required courses and more information, see the family nurse practitioner curriculum plan.
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Graduates of this program are prepared to effectively care for patients with complex psychiatric and physical health needs. Advanced nursing practice in psychiatric mental health covers both outpatient and inpatient care, children through elderly individuals, and mild depression and anxiety to significantly disabling conditions including substance abuse, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia. Graduates are prepared to provide much needed high-quality mental health care to all populations and conditions in a variety of rural and urban settings.

Upon completion of the degree, the graduate is prepared to sit for the psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner certification exam through:

The program coursework includes a field-based practicum.

Ready to take the next step?

Program Outcomes

To prepare Nurse Administrators, Clinical Nurse Leaders, Family Nurse Practitioners, Nurse Educators and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioners 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:  

  • 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. (Transferable Skill: Diversity Awareness)
  • 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. (Transferable Skill: Leadership - Management)
  • Assume accountability to influence health policy, improve healthcare delivery, decrease health disparities, and address the diversity of health care needs. (Transferable Skill: Awareness of Public Policy - Regulatory Affairs)
  • Utilize informatics to enhance delivery of healthcare to a population
  • Communicate effectively with populations to improve health through population- centered strategies of health promotion/disease prevention education (Communication Skills)
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).
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): Collaborate with the interprofessional team in the translation, implementation, analysis and dissemination of evidence-based practice to improve mental healthcare outcomes.