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Graduate Nursing Program

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McNeese State University
College of Nursing

Office Location:
550 East Sale Road
Lake Charles, LA
Hardtner Hall

Mailing Address:
Box 90415
Lake Charles, LA 70609-0415
Phone:(337) 475-5820

For Program Information:
800.622.3352 ext 5048
E-mail: Sara Dupre
Student Services Coordinator

Health Professions:
Health Systems Management
800.622.3352 ext 5835
E-mail: Amy Bufford
Program Coordinator

Undergraduate Program:
800.622.3352 ext 5821
E-mail: Megan Scott

Graduate Program:
800.622.3352 ext 5753
E-mail: Dena Bumgarden

Graduate Nursing Program

Graduate Studies

Master of Science in Nursing

Sattaria Dilks, Co-Coordinator; Ann Warner, Co-Coordinator
Faculty: Roberts, and Sterling-Guillory

The McNeese State University College of Nursing Graduate Program in cooperation with the Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science Degree in Nursing, offers a program of advanced nursing studies for Southern Louisiana. The program reflects the missions of McNeese State University, the College of Nursing and the Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master of Science in Nursing.

Graduate nursing education seeks to stimulate continued intellectual growth and commitment to lifelong learning. The program builds upon the critical thinking, therapeutic intervention, and communication skills developed in the undergraduate program to influence the health care of members of a multicultural world community.

The scope of advanced nursing practice is derived from the American Nurses Association Scope and Standards of Advanced Practice Registered Nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials of Master's Education for Advanced Practice Nursing, and the NONPF Curriculum Guidelines and Programs Standards for Nurse Practitioner Education. Graduates of the program are prepared to assume leadership roles in nursing education, nursing administration, and advanced clinical nursing practice.

Within the consortium arrangement, the curriculum encompasses the concept of specialization along the developmental life span of the human being. The program provides students with an opportunity to develop advanced skills and knowledge of clients with a variety of complex health care problems, while encouraging diversity in nursing functions and levels of intervention.


The Master of Science in Nursing Program aims to prepare graduates that:

  1. Possess a background for practice from sciences and humanities
  2. Possess organizational and systems leadership
  3. Possess a concern for quality improvement and safety
  4. Translates and integrates scholarship into practice
  5. Uses informatics and healthcare technologies
  6. Advocates for health policy to improve care
  7. Practices inter-professional collaboration for improving patient and population health outcomes
  8. Participates in clinical prevention and population health for improving health
  9. Possess master's level nursing practice competencies

The Master of Science in Nursing Program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The CCNE may be contacted at the following address: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530; Washington, DC 20036-1120. Website: Graduates are eligible to sit for national certification exams appropriate to their role specialty.

Licensing and Credentialing Requirements:

Completion of the program will prepare the graduate to practice as an advanced practice nurse or to teach at the undergraduate college level. Students who successfully complete the MSN curriculum for the family nurse practitioner and family psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner specialties meet educational requirements to take the following national certification examinations:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Admission to the Master of Science in Nursing Degree Program

The MSN degree is offered as part of a consortium agreement with McNeese State University, Southeastern Louisiana University, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and Nicholls State University. Students seeking admission to the Consortium must apply and pay appropriate fees at the institution at which the student plans to pursue the nursing major.

The student selects a functional area in nursing education, nursing leadership/administration,  or a nurse practitioner role concentration.

The College of Nursing reserves the right to limit the number of students to be admitted to the graduate nursing courses based on faculty and clinical resources.

Students seeking admission to the Master of Science in Nursing program must meet all of the requirements for admission to the Graduate School. In addition, the student must meet the following requirementsb for admission to the Master of Science in Nursing Degree Program.

A. Regular Admissions

An Applicant must have:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in nursing from an NLNAC/ACEN or CCNE accredited school. The transcript should demonstrate completion of a 3 semester hour or 4 quarter hour statistics course with a C or better. Students who will compete their BSN in the semester prior to anticipated enrollment may apply; however, acceptance will be contingent upon successful completion of the BSN.
  2. A minimum over-all grade point average of 2.75 on 4.0 scale for all undergraduate nursing.
  3. Earned a minimum score of 282 on the combined verbal and quantitative Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  4. Eligibility for unencumbered licensure as a Registered Nurse in the state where precepted experiences occur.
  5. Two letters of professional reference from faculty members, professional colleagues, or work supervisors. These letters should address the prospective student’s ability to be successful in a graduate nursing program.
  6. A 500-word essay detailing professional goals. The goal statement should include motivation for pursuing graduate nursing education as well as long and short term professional goals.
  7. Current resume’.
  8. Submitted completed application materials by May 1 to be considered for Fall admission and by November 1 to be considered for Spring admission. Late applications will be considered on a space available basis.
  9. Candidates selected for admission will provide proof of an acceptable background check prior to taking the first course.

B. Conditional Status:

An applicant who meets all regular requirements for admission to the master's degree program except the grade point average of 2.7 on all undergraduate work attempted may seek conditional admission status. For acceptance to conditional status the student must have a minimum of at least 1,100 on the formula score, with a minimum of 2.5 GPA on the last 60 hours of undergraduate courses in the nursing curriculum. To be removed from conditional status the student must make a B or better in each graduate-level course in the first 12 hours. If a C is made, the student will be dismissed from the program. An applicant not having a minimum 2.5 GPA on upper division baccalaureate work will be requested totake additional undergraduate courses as a non-degree student to enable the applicant to be considered for conditional admission.

C. Admission and Progression Requirement for the Advanced Practice Role Concentration

Admission to the advanced practice role concentration means that the MSN degree-seeking nurse practitioner student is eligible to progress to the practicum courses  when the following courses have been successfully completed. Preference will be given to full-time students which is 9 hours each semester. Students interested in post MSN certification should contact the program coordinator for further information.

  • NURS 600 Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing Practice (3 cr. hrs.)
  • NURS 602 Design and Methodology of Nursing Research (3 cr. hrs.)
  • NURS 604 Issues in Advanced Nursing Practice (3 cr. hrs.)
  • NURS 616 Health Assessment for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 cr. hrs.)
  • NURS 606 Practicum for Health Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning (1 cr. hr.)
  • NURS 617 Pharmocotherapeutics for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 cr. hrs.)
  • NURS 618 Pathophysiology for Advanced Nursing Practice (3 cr. hrs.)

The following criteria will be considered for admission to the Advanced Practice Role Concentration:
  • Cumulatitivee Grade Point Average (GPA) rank in the MSN program
  • Evidence of CPR, OSHA, Tb verification, malpractice insurance, and health insurance,
  • One 1 year of appropriate nursing experience,

The Graduate Nursing Coordinator will notify students of the status of their application at the close of the semester in which they have applied. Once admitted to the Advance Practice role concentration, the student is expected to follow the full-time or part-time degree plan which becomes a part of their record. Students who do not follow their degree plan have to reapply to the role concentration.

D. Program Length

The program is four to six semesters in length dependent upon which role is selected. Students who attend full-time may complete the program in two to two to three years, part-time students may complete the program from three to six years.

E. Non-Degree Status

Registration of non-degree students in individual courses is subject to the prerequisites and requirements of the respective departments. Credits earned with a letter grade (A or B) while in non-degree status may be applied toward a degree upon approval of the student's advisor, the Dean of the major program, and the Graduate Dean, where applicable. Not more than twelve (12) semester hours of graduate work completed while in non-degree status may be applied toward a degree.

F. Retention and Progression Requirements

  1. A student must earn a "B" in each course in the program to be eligible for progression.
  2. A student who has regular admission status and earns a grade below "B" will be placed on probation and must repeat the course within two regular semesters with at least a "B". If a grade below "B" is earned in a subsequent course, the student will be dismissed. A student who has conditional admission status who earns a C in the first 12 hours of coursework will be dismissed from the program.
  3. A graduate student who makes a grade of "F" in any course taken for graduate credit, any undergraduate prerequisite, or any undergraduate course in his major field will be ineligible to register for further graduate work. A student who receives an "F" because of extenuating, nonacademic reasons may appeal to the Graduate Council for readmission to the Graduate School.
  4. Any student dismissed for failure to meet academic standards may make appeal to the Dean of the College. If unsuccessful, a subsequent appeal must be made to the Graduate Council of the University in which he/she is enrolled.

Degree Requirements

To earn the Master of Science in Nursing with a role concentration and a specialization, the student must:

  1. Complete all degree requirements including:
    1. A minimum of 40-43 credit hours for the Family Nurse Practitioner specialty
    2. A minimum of 46-49 credit hours for the Family Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner specialty
    3. A minimum of 34-37 credit hours for the Nurse Educator role
    4. A minimum of 35-38 credit hours for the Nurse Executive role
  2. Complete a Scholarly Project or a Thesis, and
  3. Maintain a 3.0 GPA at all times.