The mission of the American Public University System’s Nursing Program is to “provide quality, affordable, and accessible higher education for professional registered nurses to foster lifelong learning through a spirit of inquiry in order to prepare students for service and leadership roles in a diverse and global society.”

The Master of Science in Nursing program prepares you to be an effective leader in the nursing profession and to be an agent of change in the delivery of health care. The transformational changes occurring in healthcare today make advanced nursing practice essential to the provision of safe, patient-centered care. As a nurse educator or nurse leader, you can help lead the change to move nursing into the future.

The master's degree program in nursing at APUS is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Note: This Master of Science in Nursing program is currently not open for admission to Tennessee residents or Washington State residents.

This program has specific admission requirements.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Apply the principles of ethical decision making to the practice of the master’s prepared nurse.
  • Demonstrate leadership skills to support safe nursing practices and continually improve patient-centered care.
  • Advocate for healthcare policies that improve healthcare outcomes across the lifespan.
  • Translate theoretical knowledge, research and evidence-based practice to influence the delivery of high-quality, safe care to diverse populations in a variety of settings.
  • Apply data management principles in the delivery of cost-effective care to improve health outcomes.
  • Analyze how healthcare policy and health care economics affect change within the healthcare system.
  • Demonstrate effective inter-professional communication and collaboration to support safe and efficient coordination of care.
  • Reflect on personal commitment to lifelong learning to gain the competencies needed to lead the provision of care in a complex and changing healthcare environment.

Programmatic Admission Requirements

This program is currently not open for admission to residents of Washington or Tennessee.

For this program, the following documentation is required and must be provided prior to course registration:

  • Official transcripts showing a conferred Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from a program accredited by: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), or Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (CNEA)
  • Current and active unencumbered registered nurse (RN) in state where practicums will be conducted
  • Minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the baccalaureate nursing degree
  • Successful completion of an undergraduate level statistics course with a “C” or higher
  • Current resume/CV
  • Signed statement of understanding (SOU)
  • 500-600 word statement of purpose and goals for graduate education*

*Writing style should be scholarly and coherent with no grammatical errors. Provide in 500-600 words a description of relevant work experience, and clearly articulated reasons for applying to the master’s program. Long-term goals or professional career aspirations should be included.

Note: You must complete this program within 5 years of starting your first nursing (NURS) course.

Please visit our AMU or APU graduate admission page for more information on institutional admission requirements.

Need help?

If you have questions regarding a program’s admission requirements, please contact an admissions representative at 877-755-2787 or

Degree at a Glance

Core Requirements15
Select one of the following concentrations:18
Final Program Requirements3
Total Semester Hours36

Degree Program Requirements

Core Requirements (15 semester hours)

NURS502Population-Based Healthcare 13
NURS500Research and Evidence-Based Practice3
NURS504Informatics and Technology3
NURS505Healthcare Systems and Health Policy3
NURS507Leadership for the Master's Prepared Nurse3
Total Semester Hours15

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from the Nurse Educator Track or Nurse Leader Track concentrations.

Concentration in Nurse Educator Track (18 semester hours)

Looks at curriculum, instruction, and assessment in nursing education with a focus on teaching and evaluations for nurse educators.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Apply programmatic objectives to the nurse educator role in clinical or academic settings.
  • Create educational and curricular materials for a variety of audiences.
  • Evaluate effectiveness of teaching strategies and modalities.

Concentration Requirements (18 semester hours)

NURS601Advanced Health Assessment3
NURS604Advanced Pathophysiology and Pharmacology3
NURS606Nursing Curriculum Development, Assessment and Evaluation3
NURS610Learner-Centered Teaching Methodologies3
NURS620Educational Assessment and Evaluation for Nurse Educators3
NURS695Practicum in Nursing Education3
Total Semester Hours18

Concentration in Nurse Leader Track (18 semester hours)

Offers a focus in leadership, human resource management, and operational quality. Healthcare business and finance are also covered.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Apply programmatic objectives to the role of the nurse leader.
  • Advocate for business practices that promote healthcare quality and patient safety.
  • Synthesize knowledge of key business and human resources practices to lead healthcare teams.

Concentration Requirements (18 semester hours)

HCAD650The Business of Healthcare3
HCAD651Healthcare Finance3
HCAD652Operational Quality in Healthcare3
HCAD605Human Resource Management in Healthcare3
HCAD520Legal and Ethical Aspects of Healthcare Administration3
NURS696Practicum in Nursing Leadership3
Total Semester Hours18

Final Program Requirements (3 semester hours)

NURS699Evidence-Based Practice Capstone Project 13
Total Semester Hours3